Everything I Learned About the American Education System I Learned From The Simpsons–The Power of the Substitute


This one is a classic episode.  The link is here

Lisa’s teacher, Miss Hoover, thinks she has come down with Lyme disease and is replaced by substitute teacher Mr. Bergstrom.  He is an energetic teacher and goes outside the norms of teaching. The classroom is always in a circle facing into the center of the room where he teaches from. He lifts up the students by highlighting their abilities, no matter how trivial they may be, such as funny faces. He even goes the extra mile by dressing up as cowboy from the early 1800’s and asks the kids to find three things that are historically inaccurate about his costume.  Because of his unorthodox teaching methods, Lisa takes a friendly, even romantic, liking to him.

Lisa runs into Mr. Bergstrom at a museum and is embarrassed when Homer displays his ignorance. Sensing that Lisa is missing something in her relationship with her father, Mr. Bergstrom takes Homer aside to suggest he be a more positive role model. After venting to her mother about Homer ruining her ‘one chance’ to get to know Bergstrom outside of the classroom, Lisa is given permission to invite him to family dinner, only to be shattered when she finds Miss Hoover back and Mr. Bergstrom gone. She rushes to his apartment and finds him having left for another job. She rushes to the train station to catch him, and confesses to that she will be lost without him. To comfort her, he writes her a note and tells her that if she ever feels alone and like she can’t rely on anybody, its contents are all she needs to know. He then boards the train and departs. It reads, “You are Lisa Simpson.” 

You are lisa simpson.jpg

With this episode I can’t help but think how will I inspire or make an impact on students that I might teach as a substitute.  I have to think that I won’t get a job right out the gate and that I might be a substitute teacher for a while.  And when I am one, what kind of teacher do I want to be?  I could be th teacher that goes in as the authoritarian, or I could be like Mr. Bergstrom.  I could decide that I might not be the student’s teacher, but I’m still a teacher and will give them all that I have for the few days we might have together.  I can treat every substitute experience as one that will help me to grow as an educator until the fortunate day comes when I have my own classroom.  And then I can take all that I’ve learned as a substitute and apply it to my own classroom.  I guess this episode helped to see that I can still be a great teacher as a sub, even if it’s only for a few days at a time.

The last hug.png<img alt=”The last hug.png” src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIABAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAEALAAAAAABAAEAQAICTAEAOw%3D%3D” width=”180″ height=”138″ data-src=”http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120328202243/simpsons/images/thumb/f/f9/The_last_hug.png/180px-The_last_hug.png” onload=”if(typeof ImgLzy==”object”){ImgLzy.load(this)}” /><img alt=”The last hug.png” src=”http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120328202243/simpsons/images/thumb/f/f9/The_last_hug.png/180px-The_last_hug.png” width=”180″ height=”138″ /></body>




About jamesthoughtsblog

I like turtles!

One thought on “Everything I Learned About the American Education System I Learned From The Simpsons–The Power of the Substitute

  1. ESteward747 says:

    I just saw this the other day. Beautiful ties to education, James!

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