I’ll never forget the “a-ha!” moment I had one day while teaching math to a classroom of sixth graders. I had the idea of using a few film clips to outline a particularly hairy math concept, and as I watched the lightbulbs go off in one kid, then another, and another, I realized that I had uncovered something valuable.
I continued to experiment with using well chosen film clips to illustrate concepts to my students, and not only were they much more engaged in the lessons (not an easy feat in a math classroom!) but I watched as my students developed a better understanding of the subject matter with enthusiasm–it was a teacher’s dream come true!
I decided to take my love of film and expand it into film appreciation classes, and the students just couldn’t get enough of them; it was then that I knew I needed to offer my film presentations to a wider audience. And, as a lifelong film buff, I also knew that beyond using movies to teach classroom subjects, there was so much that I could share with fellow movie lovers to help them get even more enjoyment out of their favorite films.
Friends consider me the walking encyclopedia of film trivia, and I now had a way to turn my obsession into a useful and hugely entertaining experience for other film goers, rather than just “treating” my friends to Secret Star Wars Fact #259.
Today, I travel throughout the Chicago suburbs presenting on a variety of fun topics, from Harry Potter to special effects in the movies, and I love seeing those same “a-ha!” lightbulbs going off in one audience member to the next, as people discover behind-the-scenes facts about wonderful films, both new and old, and when everyone is still glued to their seats at presentation’s end, I know I’ve done my job.
Steven Frenzel has been an Illinois certified teacher since 1988, and he has worked at schools in Park Ridge, Wilmette, Schiller Park, and Winnetka. He has been giving his popular interactive film presentations at schools, libraries, senior centers, and other organizations in the Chicagoland area for over 16 years.
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