Lessons from Stand and Deliver

Directed by Ramon Menendez, Stand and Deliver is a chef-d’oeuvre based on true story of Jaime Escalante. As the film opens, Jaime A. Escalante takes up a teaching job at Garfield High school. He leaves his regular, steady and peaceful job to teach mathematics in a rowdy school.

He dedicates his time and efforts to change rebellious and rude students to be achievers hence have a better tomorrow. On the other hand, teachers have already dismissed the students as failures. Will Escalate be able to compel his students to ‘stand and deliver’ as he is determined to?

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Escalante is determined to change uncontrollable and disobedient students to work hard for brighter future. Although other teachers demoralize him, he does not give up. In addition, he receives threats and mockery from the students but he does not yield to their demands.

From the behavior of Escalate, I learn that to achieve any goal in life I have to be aggressive and overlook all obstacles that come my way. During his lessons, he is able to uncover the potential of his students and transform the troublemakers in class. From the students’ transformation, I learn that indiscipline heralds failure hence to pass any tests in life I have to uphold the virtue of discipline. I learn commitment is result oriented, as the students are able to discover their potential if only they remain focused in their studies.

When Escalante arrives as a new teacher, the students mistreat, disrespect and taunt him, a phenomenon that underscores the conflicting expectations of students who view him as an enemy. In addition, the teachers are more concerned with the discipline nature of the students rather than their academic performance which paints the integrity of the students as a being poor one.

There is strained relationship between teachers and students that always lead to conflicts. The social behavior of students both at home and at school is unbecoming hence leading to conflicts.

The film highlights several issues that could increase chances of students dropping out of school. Although the students fail due to indiscipline, the poor family backgrounds also contribute to their failure in life. There is racial discrimination in school, neighborhood, and work places.

Ironically, the government participates in the racial discrimination by discouraging students to forge ahead in education, which leads to dropping out. Additionally, most of them are teen parents who are unable to balance between schoolwork and family duties hence dropping out of school. As aforementioned, most students come from poor background hence due to economic strains they work besides attending school hence eventually may drop out of school.

As the movies ends, Escalante’s slogan ‘stand and deliver’ is achieved when student pass the Education Testing Exams. This happens immediately after the students’ change their attitude towards Escalante and views him as a mentor. Some students even attend Calculus lessons during the holidays.

Unfortunately, their achievement receives criticism from education system because of their race and poor family backgrounds. Escalante also manage to uproot indiscipline from students to instill industry and courtesy in students and as result, all students, despite of indiscipline, race and economic status pass the exams. Therefore, his statement that students will reach the level of expectation finally comes true.

In a recap, Escalante’s determination to help the poor, undisciplined and hopeless students takes his career to a High school teacher. Although he receives disheartenments and ridicule from his fellow teachers and from the same students he wants to help, he does not give up.

The urge to achieve his goal changes students to good, hardworking and responsible people. He sidelines factors like economic status and racial discrimination to achieve his goal. In summary, he proves all other teachers and the entire education system wrong when his students pass excellently.


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