As a teacher and as a mother, I was really moved by the film especially on its latter part when the parents came to realize their inadequacies in understanding and finding the cause of their child’s “failure”. I could feel the agony of Sean when he was left in a boarding school far away from the comfort of his own home and from the love and care his family especially of his mother. I found him in a situation where he was so helpless to defend himself amidst the judgements, the accusations, the name-calling, the bullying … Young as he was, his experiences were really so damaging to his self-esteem, to his self-confidence, to his self-concept.
I just do not know how many Seans are there… out there – Seans who think differently that’s why treated indifferently by this society; Seans who are full of talents but are so afraid and weak to show them because of a negative view of themselves; and Seans who are just waiting for a saving soul to help them understand themselves and regain and build that positive outlook of their own persons.
It was only a film, but we know very well that the situations depicted in it are true,
EVERYWHERE, IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD! It is the reason why we should start examining ourselves – both as parents and as teachers – in our own homes and in our own schools. We might be like the father of Sean who could easily pass his judgement on him without even asking him for an explanation (like when he got in trouble with a much older and bigger fellow and was given a blow by his father.
On his face without asking for his side of the story) or we might be one of those teachers who could easily mark his works as wrong without even bothering to ask and find for the reason behind those ‘wrongs’ or we might be Mr. Niko whose being a teacher was not confined in the four walls of the classroom and ended once he stepped out of it, but rather extended beyond the school’s gate to look for the reasons behind the student’s situation and fought for and acted on and for the solution.
The film reminded me once again about the ‘sensitivity’ of the roles teachers play in the life of each of the students. We can really make or break them, uplift or dampen their spirits! Teachers’ hearts should be BIG enough to accommodate the longings and needs – open or hidden – of each of them. Being judgemental should not have a place in us. We should have that enough sensitivity to notice all the ‘Seans’ in our classes and even in our own homes; and be brave enough to look for and fight for the solution just like what Mr. Niko did which brought the unfolding of the ‘real Sean’ through the inspiration and the trust granted to him.