Chalk

From the desk of The Movie Snob

Chalk (B-). This independent flick is a faux documentary along the lines of This Is Spinal Tap or, more recently, The Office. The subject is a single school year in a generic public high school, with a focus on three teachers and one teacher recently promoted to assistant principal. There are some chuckles as we observe the three teachers. First, there’s the brand-new history teacher who switched over from some sort of computer-related job because two aptitude tests indicated that he should be a teacher. He has no idea how to teach or control his classroom, with painful results. Then there’s Coach Webb, a female P.E. instructor who worries that her short hairdo might make people think that she’s a lesbian. And finally there’s another history teacher whose main concerns are trying win the teacher-of-the-year award and trying to keep his brighter students from showing him up in class. Although there are a few laughs, the film mostly left me feeling sad and exhausted for the teachers and assistant principals who take on their thankless jobs.

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