Remember The Titans The theme of this movie is that we should treat everyone with equal respect, regardless of their skin color or race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or religion. We should accept everyone for who they are, rather than trying to change them. It also shows the integration of a racist America into a culturally accepting society with the help of a teacher/coach. Boone and Yoast are the two main coaches in Remember the Titans.
Boone is the new african-american coach and his coaching style is a firm, aggressive one, with high expectations and tough way of reaching these expectations. He is often seen yelling at his players, but never in a way that could be seen as detrimental. Coach Yoast on the other hand uses positive reinforcement to make a better team. He is never seen yelling, is more subtle in his intentions, and although he too has the same high expectations like Boone, he is softer in his ways. I believe that Gerry Bertier is a strong leader and a great role model in this film.
He is seen as a strong role model being the captain of the football team, a typical american all-star. He appears competent to his followers in that he is good at leading his team, and is often seen yelling at his teammates when they appear faulty. His teammates, family, and friends rely on him to carry the team. Gerry has high expectations, and wants to have it all- be captain, with a beautiful girlfriend, a perfect family, great friends, college expectations and the hope of winning the championship.
Gerry is willing to, after some time, accept his fellow african-american teammates and plays a key role in helping his family and friends do the same. He ends up being inseparable from Julius, an african american teammate. A pivotal scene in the movie is when he tells his former best friend and teammate that he is no longer allowed to play on the team because he purposefully allowed an african american teammate to be injured and proves he will no longer stand of racism. The scene is the movie when Boone takes the boys to the cemetery at 3:30 played a key role in desegregating the team.
It was the site for the Battle of Gettysburg, where men fought for the freedom and equality of african americans. He tells them that their families fought for the ability for whites and blacks to coexist, and they were setting them back by not doing so themselves. The five stages of team development are perfectly shown in this film. The first, forming, is shown towards the beginning of the movie where there are two separate teams, neither wanting to combine with the other. They are both seen as strong and close-minded in their views.
Then there is the storming phase, which is after the teams must combine to form one racially integrated team, and there is much conflict among them, mostly for petty reasons. Then there is norming, where many of the conflicts can be solved, the teammates have gotten to know each other more and can tolerate each other and a sense of renewed optimism emerges. This level is followed by performing. They come together as a team and are able to perform well during games, win all of them, and are seen as friends and teammates. The final level, adjourning is played around Gerry’s car accident.
The team feels heartbroken, and must play the final game without their star player, and it tests their ability to come together, support their teammate, and prove how far they’ve come. Gerry’s definition of family is that family doesn’t just include your immediate genetic relatives, but those whom you love and respect. Gerry and Julius have grown so much together and sometimes only had each other. This concept of family also connects the the theme of the movie- accepting diversity. Did I learn anything form watching Remember the Titans? Absolutely.
From a teaching standpoint, when I am in a diverse classroom, I can take the methods of Boone and Yoast, such as integrating other cultures of students together so that they may learn about each other before they judge each other, and that sometimes I need to be firm and not stand for any form of racism. From a non-teacher standpoint, it helped remind me how far we’ve come in history, and how hopefully one day there will be a similar movie on integrating and accepting the gay community as equals because the message of treating EVERYONE as equals isn’t as powerful if not everyone is actually treated as an equal.
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