Absolutely! Sometimes things are made up in movies and sometimes the movie is totally correct. My friends can verify that both Nancy and I really do love Milli Vanilli. It is our goal that Milli Vanilli will make a comeback after the premiere of Front of the Class.
Do you like Milli Vanilli or are we the last two genuine Milli Vanilli fans?
Yes it was! Are you a teacher interested in doing a great geography unit with your students. Here is the link for the Trucker Buddy Program. Sign up now and get a trucker buddy to travel around the nation and be your classes pen pal.
As you saw in Front of the Class, the kids love it and maybe someday your trucker buddy will be in your area and surprise your class just like “Maxine” surprised our class.
Is this a project you think your students would enjoy? How would you use the trucker buddy program in your class?
It is my hope that teachers will use Front of the Class to share my story with their students. Between the bullying that takes place to Brad saying “I just want to be treated like everyone else” their are many lessons to look at with Brad Cohen’s story. So many Character Education words come to mind that were a central theme in this story.
1) Positive Attitude
6) Self Control
7) Respect for Others
8 ) Kindness
ATTENTION TEACHERS and EDUCATORS and PARENTS: What lessons would you teach in the classroom after you show Front of the Class to your students? What conversations took place after parents and children watched the movie together?
I’d love to collect your thoughts so I can create a “Teacher Guide” to distribute to go along with the movie for when classrooms and families watch the movie. PLEASE SHARE!
It looks like the #1 question I keep getting is “When will “Front of the Class” be available on DVD and where can we buy it?” People also want to know if the movie will rerun on TV. The way it looks right now is that no, it will not rerun on TV for at least 1 year and then it might go to the Hallmark Channel.
Brad Cohen’s story will be available for purchase sometime in March in Hallmark Stores across America.
Are you planning to buy the DVD? Is it going to be for you or for someone else to watch?
Neither Jimmy Wolk or Dominic Scott Kay had Tourette Syndrome in real life. They are both actors. They both did an amazing job learning about my tics. The director video taped me before they started shooting the film as I talked about my Tourette’s. I explained all the tics I’ve had and how and when I do them. I explained that their is a method behind the madness with TS and that each tic has its own reason behind it. They also watch old video tapes of me growing up and during my first year of teaching. In order to assure the tics were consistent throughout the movie as well as between Jimmy and Dominic, they had a dialect coach to work with them the entire time. Mary MacDonald, also the voice of on-star and other voice-overs, was their coach. She did an amazing job working with them for over 5 weeks. Both Jimmy and Dominic said they were worn out after each day of shooting the film because of all the tics they did. They told me they could get a massage on set whenever they wanted.
How did you think Jimmy and Dominic did acting as a Touretter?
YES YOU DID! Brad and Nancy Cohen can be seen in their cameo appearance after the orchestra concert as little Brad is getting up out of his seat and heading to the front of the auditorium with his principal. Brad and Nancy Cohen are standing in the back acting like teachers. It is a quick 2 or 3 seconds so don’t blink.
We thought this would be the best scene to have us in because it was the most important scenes in the movie. It was at this point in my life when I realized the power of education. It was from this moment forward where I knew I wanted to be that teacher that I never had.
This scene took almost 8 hours to shoot because as the director, Peter Werner, stated “We needed to get this scene right because it is such a powerful moment in the movie and in Brad’s life.”
Did you get a chance to see me and Nancy?
Many people have asked me if I really met my wife Nancy my first year of teaching. And the answer is no. We actually didn’t meet until 2004, while my first year of teaching was 1996. For the sake of making the movie only last 2 hours, they had to move the timeline up a few years to make things work. I mean come on, would this movie really have happened without a love scene………this is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of course! Nancy always kids around saying that this movie would not have happened without her being part of the story. She might be right:) I mean we all remember the big kiss scene at my mom’s house on Thanksgiving! Yucky
The one thing I was surprised Hallmark didn’t include was the way I proposed to her. It was in Napa Valley where I surprised Nancy and went up in a hot air balloon and down below was a 20 foot sign saying “Nancy will you marry me?” I had to add the picture because I knew you wouldn’t believe me. I mean come on, this all can’t possibly be true? Can it?
Heather was a real person! In the movie, the timeline was a little different. Heather was in my first 2nd grade classroom in 1996 and didn’t get sick until her 5th grade year. She passed away from Cancer in January of her 6th grade year.
To learn more about Heather and the impact she made in my life, check out Chapter 13, “Remembering Heather.” You’ll be able to read about Heather’s “Fifth Grade Walk,” our last visit together, my feelings during the funeral, and how I made sure Heather was never forgotten as we got our school involved with Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
Here you will see a picture of Heather and I during our last visit together before she passed away.
I know that many people were touched by the loss of Heather in the movie. She was a special girl and I’m honored that “Hallmark Hall of Fame” wanted to keep her memory alive in the movie. I know Heather’s family is grateful.
Katherine Shepler did an amazing job in the movie playing the role of Heather. I know we will see Katherine in many more movies in the future. Everyone on set enjoyed being around her. Heather would be proud of her!