Mr Iglesias was a show that Netflix recommended to me around a year back. And in all honesty, I really loved the show. So what was it that made the show so memorable to me?
Firstly, I think it appealed to me since I am a teacher too. While the context that Mr Iglesias taught in was vastly different from that of my own, it is quite fun to imagine being a charismatic teacher like the protagonist of the show.
The charismatic teacher trope is not new in movies or TV shows. Dead Poets Society is the first movie that comes to mind. Taare Zameen Par is another such example. And we all love such movies. Even movies such as the Harry Potter series have lovable teachers such as Remus Lupin. However, from an educational point of view such narratives can have both positive and negative effects, as Prof Alex Moore1 believes. He says that the positive effect is that these movies show that there is more to teaching than merely giving out information or training students in a particular discipline. However, the romanticizing of teachers can create unrealistic expectations among people as to who is a good teacher. Another problem can arise when new teachers try to imitate such charismatic teachers in their own teaching. Trouble causing students will not always be reformed at the end of a heroic struggle like in the movies. And imitating is not a good thing as each teacher will be different and trying to be like someone else can make things worse.
In contrast to the drama heavy movies we are used to, Mr Iglesias offers a more lighthearted idea of a charismatic teacher. And yet holds many important lessons for me as a teacher. The show like the movies show the importance of caring for the student’s holistic life development rather than just competence in a particular subject. However, unlike the movies where there is an extraordinary difficulty, the show does it in more everyday scenarios. The show also shows the humility of a teacher willing to learn from his students at times. And admitting his mistake. Again these do not happen in a dramatic scenario but rather in a trivial everyday matter.
All in all, while the show may not be the most critically acclaimed one, it did tickle my interests quite a bit. And I am hoping that there might be a season 2 hopefully.
1. Lecture from “What Future for Education” on coursera.org