I’m a big fan of Star Wars, and therefore greatly appreciate everything that George Lucas does in the world. (Yes, I even have a peculiar appreciation for Jar Jar Binks.) In the book Education Nation by Milton Chen, the author discusses (pp. 204-207) the effect that praise from teachers and parents can have on our young people. Chen shares an excerpt from the acceptance speech Lucas gave upon receiving the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement during the 1992 Oscar Awards. Lucas said,
“I’d especially like to thank a group of devoted individuals, who apart from my parents, have done the most to shape my life. My teachers. From kindergarten, through college, their struggle…and it was a struggle, to help me learn, to grow, was not in vain. And it is greatly appreciated… All of us who make motion pictures are teachers, teachers with very loud voices. But we will never match the power of the teacher who is able to whisper in a student’s ear.”
Lucas is obviously a very creative and hard-working person to have had so much success in his career. As an admirer of his work, I’m also very thankful for the teachers (in and away from school) he had in his life to allow his creativity and work come to life on screen.
Extremely important side note: More than just this one speech, George Lucas is the founder of Edutopia, and a committed supporter of education.