"How about I believe in the unlucky ones? If I don't I'd probably go crazy."(Laura Dern, October Sky) This could arguably be the most important line in the entire movie, in my opinion. This teacher recognizes the potential in every student, not only the ones with visible ability.
This, I would hope, would be the goal of every teacher.Teachers have the greatest gift in the world - - the ability to help shape a student's life. Recognized and appreciated he or she can use that to present a world of opportunities to those who may not have had any. This was true in "October Sky"; the "Rocket Boys" were from a small failing mining community, where little expectations were placed on them and even less opportunities were available.
When Dern's character was accused of giving the boys false hopes she held her grounds and continued to support the boys. This to me is an example of a great teacher, one who will continue to do what he or she thinks is right regardless of whether it earns her the disapproval of the rest of the staff.
The movie "October Sky" gives a very positive representation of a teacher. She is a role model, a friend, a source of information, a defender, and a fighter. She is portrayed as compassionate, understanding, and very beneficial in keeping the students directed toward their goals. This would seem to say that teachers need these qualities in order to fully relate to their students.
A teacher can not only be there for informational needs, but must also stand behind her students and be prepared to defend their rights to discover themselves.
A teacher should be prepared to recognize hidden potential; it is in almost every student. This is a difficult task, especially if the student also brings great adversity, however, it is not impossible; Dern's character realized this. Every teacher will have a student in their classroom with hidden ability; despite the student's possibility for greatness, the great teacher will be measured by her ability to see the potential inside that student.