What better subject is there to blog about on an education blog than education? Since the Entertaining Education series uses television programs to highlight educational opportunities, it only seems fitting that we talk for a bit here about a couple of critically acclaimed series, one brand new, and one with a couple of seasons under its belt, that are actually about education.
Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights is a television series that details the events around the high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The main characters are coach Eric Taylor (played by Kyle Chandler), his wife–the school counselor, and their family. The show’s plot lines follow the family and the team members as they address many of the main issues in today’s real life middle America: the search for further educational opportunity, social pressures in small towns, poverty, elder care, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.
But really, what the show does is put a strong highlight on the main idea that a teacher who truly cares about his or her students can make a monumental difference in the lives of those students, no matter their social or economic position.
The show has yet to gain a large following, but those who watch love the show, including television critics. The show has been identified twice by the American Film Institute as culturally significant. Lauded by critics for its realistic portrayal of Middle America and deep personal exploration of its central characters, the show has been awarded a Peabody Award, an Emmy Award, and a Television Critics Association Award.
Now we move from rural Texas to William McKinley High school in Lima, Ohio. Glee is a brand new show that has also caught critics’ eyes. Similar to Friday Night Lights, it revolves around a popular teacher, and his students, who come in all shapes and sizes. The teacher, Mr. Schuester, is put in charge of the Glee club, and he makes it his mission to have a positive impact on students who view themselves as social outcasts. Only the pilot episode has aired so far, and it was well-received, trending high on Twitter, and getting favorable reviews. It’s in a musical comedy format, something that has traditionally done very poorly in prime time, so its staying power remains a question. One of the things that may save it are big name guest stars like Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Groban, and Victor Garber.
At the end of the day though, these shows are about the impact teachers can have on students’ lives. In that respect both these shows have the same genesis. It’s well documented that teachers can have a huge impact in the lives of kids, and many of us grow up thinking that we’d like to be that teacher, have that impact.
Perhaps you are one of those who has been inspired by a teacher to do great things in your own life, and now maybe you’re looking at a career in education. There are lots of roads to think about here, and in one way or another, they will all lead you to opportunities to help students along their path.
Some of our educational opportunities include tracks that move from Bachelor degrees all the way through Doctoral programs:
There are many more as well. Take a look around and discover your pathway toward an education degree.