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Best of the Week 2021-2022: Teaching to the Future


Last week, students in Sabrina Gushue's French class and Sherie Quinn and Gina Turella's Spanish classes attended the Cleveland International Film Festival at Playhouse Square to view several Spanish and French short films. Focusing on themes including social organization, cultural identity, and human ingenuity, these films directly correlated to the IB international mindset that students discuss in the classroom. From "No Harm Done," a twenty-minute film about a woman living a secret double life from her family in fear of disrespecting their cultural traditions, to "Candidato 34," a film that follows the story of Peruvian Bryan Russell and his quest for a seat in Congress, students experienced a wide range of film genres, highlighting different cultures and celebrating their individual identities. "All four short films we got to watch were connected through the emotions they imparted on the viewer," says Owen Grieger '24. "It was really enlightening to watch films made by directors from other countries," says Max Morscher '22. "I felt that all the films were really representative of the struggles of real people, especially those from francophone nations. The ability to get to experience films by French directors and how they see their country is a really unique experience, especially because each film dealt with different viewpoints of cultural identity." "Back in November, St. Ed's French Club ran a small donation drive for the Afghan refugees who resettled in Cleveland and I hope our students were able to make a connection between the films they saw that covered immigration and the impact they might have had in helping out families in making a new place a home," says Mrs. Gushue. After participating in post-film discussions led by language professors from Cleveland State University, students engaged in dialogue amongst themselves about the films and shared in a lunch trying both French and Hispanic cuisines. "Taking the language outside the classroom is such an important and motivating experience for our students," says Mrs. Gushue. "Everyone enjoyed themselves while learning more about the diversity of cultures."

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