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Movie Teachers Who Should Be Fired For Bad Lesson-Planning

Updated January 14, 2020 884 votes 139 voters 1.6k views15 items

List RulesVote up the teachers who wouldn’t make it in the real world.

Teachers are unsung heroes. In real life, teachers can guide, inspire and prepare children for the world. And in movies, on-screen teachers can inspire audiences. Who doesn’t love Miss Honey in Matilda? Or Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers? Or Michelle Pfeiffer’s Louanne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, who proves her intensity by staring down Coolio in the “Gangsta’s Paradise” music video?

But not every teacher is making their Mr. Holland’s Opus. Some teachers are problematic, lazy, and grossly unprofessional. Even some of the best fictional teachers can cross lines that would never fly in the real world. 

A few of these fictional teachers can be better at their job. It may make for a less entertaining film, but it’s important to honor what it takes to be a teacher. Here’s a list of some teachers in film history who could have stepped up their game to get a better grade.

Photo:
  • Dolores Umbridge 
    Photo: Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros.

    Appears In: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Teachers should at least like children to be a teacher, but Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) is so concerned with her political aspirations that she ignores the job that she received via nepotism. Furthermore, she physically harms her students with enchanted quills and she’s biased against people with Muggle backgrounds. Plus, she shows a willingness to dose and torture students.  

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  • Mr. Dan Dunne 
    Photo: Half Nelson / THINKFilm

    Appears In: Half Nelson

    Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is a substance user who cannot wait until after school to use. He convinces a student to hide his unlawful activities and also has an inappropriate relationship with a student outside of school. His issues make him a bad person and affect his teaching. Worst of all, his inconsistency is likely to cause lasting emotional damage.  

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  • 3

    The Faculty 

    The Faculty 
    Photo: The Faculty / Miramax Films

    Appears In: The Faculty

    Although it's an alien invasion flick, this film also offers commentary on our failing school system. The staff includes a miserly busybody principal (Bebe Neuwirth), a heavy-drinking history teacher, a drama teacher who cannot reasonably discipline students, and a school nurse who is always sick. The worst is Coach Joe Willis (Robert Patrick), who is not only verbally abusive, but also bullies his students with inappropriate remarks. He seems to have a toxic rage problem that’s not good for kids, and this is even before he’s even infected by alien parasites.

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  • Dewey Finn 
    Photo: School of Rock / Paramount Pictures

    Appears In:  School of Rock

    Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is a horrible teacher, but that is probably because he has absolutely no qualifications to teach children. He has a provocative classroom manner and does not act appropriately around his pupils. He takes them out of school without their parents' permission while forcing them to play music rather than providing educational instruction. 

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