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Published: 01-12-2019

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Les Choristes: A Film Review

Teaching is universal around the planet. Starting teachers can learn not just from teachers in their personal society but also from these in other countries, such as in the foreign film Les Choristes (2004). This French film revolves about Clément Mathieu, a failed musician and new prefect at Fond de l’Etang, a boarding college for troubled boys. Faced with the challenge of managing a class full of unruly, sullen boys, Mathieu learns that the way to their hearts is through music. He begins to teach them how to sing, forming a chorus and altering their lives forever. Les Choristes (2004) is not merely an artistic masterpiece, for it also contains several considerable messages about teaching: the value of a positive attitude towards young children, the need for a strong teacher/student relationship, and the way in which a teacher grows and learns from his students.

From the minute he sets foot in Fond de l’Etang, Clément Mathieu, as an outsider, notices the negativity that permeates the school. The headmaster, Rachin, punishes the boys, even these whom he knows are innocent, by beating them and forcing them to do an excessive quantity of school drudgery or locking them up behind bars in isolation. Rachin, along with the majority of the other school teachers, views the boys as a lost trigger and, as Mathieu points out, “sees evil everywhere” (Les Choristes, 2004). However, “if a teacher expects a student or group of students to behave in a certain way, the teacher’s attitude might serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy—that is, the students may behave in the predicted manner in response to the teacher’s attitude” (Ryan & Cooper, 2010, p. 175). Since the adults assume that the boys will be wild, rude delinquents, the students act that way. They are not utilised to possessing a person expect excellent things from them, and when Mathieu treats them with kindness and believes in them, they do not know how to react. Mathieu, as opposed to the rest of the administration, holds higher hopes for them and is outwardly optimistic. He shows the boys that they are more than petty thieves, liars, or juvenile delinquents and that they can excel by means of the energy of music. By maintaining a good attitude towards the boys, Mathieu manages to simultaneously tame them and bring out their very good sides. Leclerc and Pépinot, two radically diverse boys, kind a friendship, a bond that didn’t exist prior to Mathieu’s arrival. Morhange, initially described as a little devil with the face of an angel, learns to overcome his innate jealousy and selfishness below Mathieu’s guidance. When Mathieu permits him to finally sing his solo, he notices, “Morhange’s eyes followed my tempo, and in them, I abruptly study many items: pride and the joy of my forgiveness, but also something really new to him. A feeling of gratitude” (Les Choristes, 2004). The troubled boy and his peers changed for the much better, all due to the fact of Clément Mathieu’s sturdy belief and faith. As a teacher, it is of utmost value to think in your students, hold higher expectations for them, and not be biased against them due to the fact of their histories. In order to overcome his fears and really excel, a child wants to be conscious of his teacher’s support and realize that someone is there for him, even when other adults have brushed him off as a lost cause.

In addition to a positive attitude about students, the student-teacher relationship is an crucial aspect of teaching. Clément Mathieu is beloved by his students simply because he is the only adult in the constructing who treats them with respect and kindness. Upon meeting them for the first time, he approaches them with humor, hoping to win them more than and acquire their trust, in spite of being named “Chrome Dome” behind his back. He remains undeterred even when they break into his area steal his most prized possessions, the sheet music he composed. Despite being distraught and angry more than their crime, he does not turn in the mischief-makers when a fellow teacher, Chabert, finds them and demands to know what is going on. Moreover, when Boniface is getting unjustly punished for a crime he did not commit, Mathieu rescues him by convincing Rachin to give him permission to find and take care of the real culprit. Clément Mathieu genuinely cares about his students and their properly-being and might, in fact, be the first particular person to ever enjoy these neglected young children. As a result, the boys come to trust and respect Mathieu in return and obey his wishes. The relationship created in between the teacher and the students is integral to their development and education with no Mathieu, the boys would by no means have changed their behavior and would have continued to be disruptive, unproductive, and disobedient. Alternatively, they formed friendships, paid focus in class, and listened to their superiors. A strong student-teacher relationship is important to a profitable classroom and ought to be offered great priority by aspiring teachers.

At the starting of Les Choristes (2004), Clément Mathieu was simply swayed by the headmaster and did not intervene anytime Rachin executed a punishment or spoke harshly to the boys. Rather, he quietly did every little thing he could to shield the children from the abuse while maintaining a low profile. However, living with his students and learning about them changed him, giving him the courage he needed to stand up for what he knew was right. At the film’s denouement, the dormitories, exactly where the youngsters were supposed to be staying, are burnt down by Mondain, a former student seeking revenge. When Rachin hurries back to the school, he finds that Mathieu and the elderly Maxence had taken the young children on a treasure hunt and left the dormitories unattended. Despite saving the children’s lives, Mathieu is unjustly fired for “breaking the guidelines.” Maxence insists that he be fired too, but Mathieu thanks him and says, “It’s good of you, Mr. Maxence, but you’re needed right here. Think about the young children, given that this gentleman never does” (2004). Just before departing, he ultimately says to Rachin, “Headmaster, just before I go, I’ll tell you what I feel of you. You’re an incompetent, really evil man” (2004). The children weren’t the only ones who changed for the much better from their experiences with their prefect Mathieu himself grew and discovered by way of them as nicely. With the children’s greatest interests at heart, he is no longer afraid to defy Rachin’s twisted methodology. By standing up to the headmaster, he overcomes his original cowardice, reaffirms his beliefs, and regains faith in himself. Even as he is fired, he conducts himself with dignity and passion and leaves knowing that he has made the proper option. Students can have a tremendous, potent impact on a teacher, and teaching includes being open to changing and learning from the children as nicely.

Les Choristes (2004) is a poignant film about teaching. All viewers can take to heart the considerable messages it contains about not just education, but also society as a complete. Clément Mathieu’s story depicts the power of teaching to adjust people’s lives forever while successfully conveying the trials and tribulations a teacher must face. Ultimately, nevertheless, it shows the significance of a constructive attitude, the benefits of a sturdy teacher-student relationship, and the prospective for a teacher to grow, understand, and develop through immersing himself or herself in teaching.
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