Since I have been in the teaching field for over 20 years, I am often asked why I went into teaching particularly since I had several other jobs before. I certainly didn't go into teaching as one sees in MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS, DEAD POETS' SOCIETY, or DANGEROUS MINDS. Those movies, while immensely entertaining, are not accurate portrayals of teaching in today's world. I know that the movies are inspirational and make for good stories but, get real, those kinds of stories are the work of Hollywood magic. They may be based on real events but I have never seen those kinds of events in any real school that I have entered. That doesn't mean we don't have our inspirational moments but they are far fewer and far less dramatic than anything you will see in the movies. A closer depiction of teaching can be found in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and TEACHERS (with Nick Nolte). I went into teaching after having a career in another field and becoming disillusioned with the workplace grind. I was hired sight unseen by a principal who knew me by my family reputation. I was lucky to fall into a system that allowed me to experiment with who I was as a teacher and how I wanted to find a place in the system. I have made many good friends with fellow teachers and have kept in touch with former students who are now located all over the United States and have had various degrees of success. I wanted to be a better teacher than some of the ones I had had in elementary school and in high school. In fact, the one person who made me want to be a teacher was the man I had as a 5th-6th grade teacher who played favorites, embarrassed students and was, in general, totally incompetent. I raged against him and always vowed, if given the opportunity, would be a much better teacher than he ever was. Somewhere he knows what he did and probably would be surprised if he knew how I felt. So that is why I am a teacher. I have had a great career but I am looking forward to leaving with my brain and body intact. Let me know why you wanted to go into teaching--I am curious.