Teacher feature: Hanan Harchol, teacher and filmmaker
We love to hear from real teachers and often feature their advice, tips and stories right here on the teaglo blog. Recently, we’ve published inspirational stories from teachers all over the world in our distance teaching diaries, shared quick snapshots in our 1 teacher 5 question series, and glimpsed new teacher insights in our NQT diaries. Today we are excited to introduce you to Hanan Harchol, a teacher and a filmmaker in New York. Take it away Hanan.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I have been a New York City public high school teacher for eleven years, and counting. During my first year I almost quit (as 41% of New York City teachers do within their first five years). When I witnessed how many new teachers were going through the same challenges that I faced as a new teacher, and I thought about how close I had been to leaving, I decided to make a film about my experience as a teacher.
About a Teacher
About a Teacher is my first feature film, and it is a semi-autobiographical narrative drama about my first three years as a public high school film teacher. I wanted to provide an insider’s perspective on the challenges and rewards that teachers face, to counter the way teachers were traditionally portrayed in movies and on TV, which I felt was a poor caricature of what we actually do. I also wanted to support new teachers by capturing how hard the first years can be, while showing that it does get better.
My larger intention with the film is to provide the broader public with a realistic, unvarnished window into the work that teachers do, with the hopes that teachers are better supported, especially in their first years, and that teachers are acknowledged for their important service and crucial role in our society.
What do the critics say?
“About a Teacher is a lovely, impassioned, and undeniably human film that honors the teaching profession….the film features many of Harchol’s former students in the cast and crew. The fact that they would come back to bring his vision to life is inspiring.” – Andrew Stover Film Threat
“a deeply felt tribute to teachers” – Joel Copling SPECTRUM CULTURE
“A new film written and directed by a teacher comes closer to capturing the feel of classroom life than most of its big budget predecessors…It turns out that it takes a teacher to make a decent movie about a teacher.” – Robert Pondiscio, EducationNext