For me, this holiday time is all about the classics. From classic family customs, to classic desserts and dishes, to the classic movies. One of those film classics for me is Home Alone.
There is the epic debate for some whether it is or is not a Christmas movie, yet that is something that I will not be getting into right now (It most definitely is!)
As I sat down this year and watched one of my favorite holiday classics, I not only laughed like a school girl at the classic scenes, but also noticed the incredible lessons that we can gain from this film which can be implemented in and out of the classroom.
In both Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2, Kevin makes quick judgements on certain characters. In the first movie it is the "Shovel Man" who legend told killed his entire family with a shovel. He then has that touching moment with the same man in the church on Christmas Eve. He learns that the son of the "Shovel Man" has not spoken to him in quite some time. Kevin then shares advice with him and they create an understanding that helps them later in the movie when Kevin is running from the "Wet Bandits."
Then in the second film, it is the "Pigeon Lady" who was frightening on all accounts in New York City. After a classic Home Alone scream that occurs in their first encounter, Kevin later learns that this woman ran away from a very normal life because she was afraid of getting her heart broken for the second time. Much like in the first film, this character that he once thought was an adversary, was in fact an ally that helps him later on.
In our classrooms we have students that have built up a reputation much like the "Shovel Man" or have had a strong and negative first impression like that of the "Pigeon Lady." In his first interactions with these characters, Kevin believes and acts on the stereotype for his focus is on his own matters. It is not until he sits and has a conversation with them that he discovers the true person within. As teachers, we are truly stretched time wise. There is always something to do and simply not enough time to accomplish it all. Yet, if we take a moment to simply sit with the "Shovel Man" or "Pigeon Lady" in our classroom, it will make all the difference. For just like in the movie, both parties can reap the benefits from a simple understanding.