This film shows that teachers can have two jobs:
1) As teachers, but gererally only to the kids who want to learn.
2) As social workers/therapists, but generally only to the kids who do NOT want to learn.
I think it's fair to say that most kids who do NOT want to learn could use an attitude adjustment. As the film illustrates, helping some students adjust their attitudes (i.e., grow emotionally) can be an enormous challenge. And a background in clinical psychology/social work would certainly better prepare a teacher for this challenge!
I encourage students who are NOT interested in school to watch this film because:
1) IF they identify with the student characters in the film, THEN they may grow vicariously along with them.
2) They may see the point of view of their teachers for the first time. Specifically, that teachers (and by extension, anyone) can honestly care about them, regardless of their repeatedly disrespectful behavior. As the movie illustrates so well, SED (severely emotionally disturbed) kids may NOT be able to believe that anyone, including a teacher, cares about them. Thus, kids with similar trust issues who watch this movie, may appreciate and become more respectful of their teachers IF they start believing that their teachers really care about them.
3) They may begin to appreciate/respect their teachers more once they realize how challenging a teacher's job can be.
4) Finally, it helps to have a popular star like Samuel Jackson glorifying the image of the teacher.
In conclusion, recently I have began substitute teaching at a middle school in Mountain View, CA. Generally, I spend most of my class time with those students who are the least interested in learning.
I commend the makers of this important film for teachers AND STUDENTS!