Which Fictional Teacher are You? Which fictional teacher are you? Severus Snape – Harry Potter “Open your books to page 394.” You’ve got a hard exterior, but you mean well. You’re known for teaching by the book, but you do it because you’ve seen how effective it can be year after year. The “class clown types” won’t do well, but serious academics have a lot to gain through a relationship with you. You might consider adopting a more experiential method as you move forward to adapt to those young wizards. Ms. Frizzle – Magic School Bus “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” To some, you might look a bit flaky, but your deeply experiential approach makes learning a real-world adventure that will impact the rest of their lives. Some kids are off-put by your approach, but with a little extra nudge, they’ll be out of their comfort zone and ready to dive in. You could benefit from a great incentive model to ensure your approach reaches out and grabs ever learner. Sue Sylvester – Glee “Oh hey buddy. I thought I smelled failure.” Somebody has to toughen these kids up and it doesn’t look like anyone else is taking on the challenge. People often mistake your rough and tumble approach for aggression. What they don’t know is that you truly care deeply about these kids and what they learn. You could benefit from a little more training and support for social and emotional learning in the classroom. Dewey Finn – School of Rock “Okay, here’s the deal: I have a hangover. Who knows what that means?” Your approach is unorthodox and you might not always fit in down at the faculty lounge, but it’s a hit with the kids and that’s what really matters. That path to learning is more like a zig-zag, but you always get to the finish line and you take students on an adventure along the way. You might use a bit more polish when it comes to classroom management for your experiential approach. John Keating – Dead Poets Society “You must strive to find your own voice, boys, and the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.” While you might hate literary cliches, you still take the road less traveled. You aren’t concerned about test scores and feedback from the administration. Instead, you pour all of your energy into helping to develop young minds into productive and actualized people. It takes a while for folks to warm up, but when they do, they’ll have a bond with you forever. It might be useful for you to make class a bit more hands-on in your quest to bring learners into adulthood. Walter White – Breaking Bad “I am not in danger. I am the danger.” You clock in. You clock out. Back in college and those first years of teaching, you were ready for the challenge. You were excited at the opportunity to mold the minds of the next generation and to truly change some lives. You need a reawakening; a fresh new approach to education. Once those students start learning again and you see them motivated and participating, you’ll be reminded of why you do all of this in the first place. Yoda – Star Wars “Do or do not, there is no try.” You bring the “sage on stage” model down off the stage and into the audience. You’ve been around the block for a while and have the wisdom to show it. Your students respect your experience. Despite your experience, you never shy away from new and innovative methods. Because you’ve done this all before, it might be easy to take for granted how motivated your students really are. You could benefit from a new classroom method to get the hold-outs up and out of their comfort zones. Jessica Day – New Girl “You don’t like my style … That’s fine … But I’m not gonna change who I am. So you’re just gonna have to deal with it and respect it.” You’re spunky. You let your personality shine in the classroom whether the students (or admin) like it or not! SEL is your bread and butter. You’re there to make better people not just better students. Your personality might sometimes be too strong, however. You could benefit from learning how to relate to the quieter students and encourage them to participate and get creative along with the rest of the class. Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights “Listen to me. I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the trying.” You’re a strong leader with your head screwed on straight. You’re practical, intelligent, and tough, but you care deeply and every single student knows that. That’s why leaders in the school look to you for inspiration and advice. You aren’t fully happy without your hands on more levers of control. You might look to bring in a more flexible methodology to give you added control and remind you and your students what learning is all about. William Forrester from Finding Forrester “I helped him find his own words by starting with some of mine.” You believe that your students teach you just as much as you teach them. Learning is an experience that affects everyone involved. You work together alongside students in deep discussion and debate to dive into topics. You tend to take the approach that is best for you; even though it might not work for everyone. You could benefit from learning some ways to bring more reserved students into the conversation and thinking creatively. Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid “No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher.” You take a very individualized and patient approach to education. You know your students aren’t ready to learn until they’re ready to learn and you’ll wait for that moment. Once they are there, you’ll be their greatest advocate and guide as they move along their education journey. Not everyone will be ready for that approach right away. You could benefit from learning some tried and true methods of encouraging participation and motivation. Ms. Blu Rain from Precious You find yourself rooting for the underdog and that’s a lot of the reason you ended up in this profession in the first place. You find the lost, the weary, the burnt out, and you pour your energy into their hearts. Your selfless quest to change the community is truly mindblowing, but it’ll get you in trouble if you don’t toe the line and don’t protect yourself a bit. You might find some protection (and a lot of value) in a methodology that focuses on giving the students agency. It’ll help break down barriers with those underdogs for sure. Mr. Garrison from South Park “A haiku is just like a normal American poem except it doesn’t rhyme and it’s totally stupid.” You’re wildly inappropriate, generally apathetic, and seem bent on losing your job. It sounds a lot like you’re burned out and starting to self-sabotage. But, remember, it’s never too late to reignite the passion you had for education and turn your profession into something so much bigger. You desperately need a new way of doing things. Maybe try an experiential method that reimagines the goals of education and see where that gets you? If that doesn’t work… maybe try a new career? Prof. Charles Xavier from X-Men “Just because someone stumbles and loses their way, it doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Sometimes, we all need a little help.” You’re a natural-born leader. You maybe have aspirations of working in admin one day. Because of this, the kids trust you and regularly ask for help with issues they run into both in and out of the class. But remember that teaching is a lifelong journey and while it might not seem like it, there’s still a lot to learn. You could benefit from exploring new classroom methodologies and ways to get students motivated and out of their comfort zone. LouAnne Johnson from Dangerous Minds “Sometimes it gets a lot of wrong answers to get to the right one.” You’re in it for all the right reasons, but sometimes that’s your downfall. You get emotionally connected and, when you don’t have the control you need, you can start to feel helpless in the profession. But, when everything is moving in the right direction, and you have support from your peers, you can truly change the world. It might be time you tried on a more experiential method; one that can help learners of all abilities to bring their value to the class. Coach Herman Boone from Remember the Titans “This is no democracy, it’s a dictatorship. I am the law.” You’re a trailblazer with a take-no-prisoners attitude. You won’t let administration (or anyone else) stand in the way of what’s right. Your approach to the classroom is harsh but brings out the unique talents of every individual in time. You’re feared by some, respected by many, but have a profound impact on all. Fear isn’t always the best motivator. Try incentives as one way to mix it up in your classroom and engage those who might feel left out. On the first day of school you… How do you handle classroom decor? Which of these best describes how you feel in your teaching career. Your faculty lounge coffee cup most likely reads… How much control do you have over your students’ success? How do you approach your career as a teacher? Finally, lunch time! What’s most-likely on the menu? It’s prep period. What are you doing? How do you handle lesson planning? Which teacher look is most like yours? It’s a Friday in May, your classroom looks most like… How do you get students motivated? What teaching style is most like yours? School’s out for the day. What’s your go-to stress snack?