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7 Things TV and Movies Get Drastically Wrong About Teaching

School is a common setting for TV shows and movies. It makes sense: We all went to school, so it’s an experience any audience can relate to. Although these fictional stories might get the lockers and buses and backpacks right, they often take creative license as to what a teacher’s life is like. Check out these GIFs featuring seven TV and movie teachers who clearly only exist in fantasy land.

Mr. Feeny: No Teacher Is That Perfect

Year after year, Mr. Feeny had the perfect answer, delivered the perfect lesson, and maintained perfect composure in the face of every trial. In the real world, few teachers can say the same of even the last week (or day…or hour).

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Ms. Frizzle: No Classroom Budget Includes Intergalactic Field Trips

A trip to Pluto? Or a voyage through the human body? No classroom has the budget for such extravagant field trips, especially when they happen every day. Also, what teacher doubles as a school bus driver? How many licensure programs did Ms. Frizzle complete?

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Principal Belding: Administrators Have More Than Six Kids to Manage

Principal Belding surely cared about all his students, but didn’t he spend a little too much time catering to Zack, Slater, Jessie, Kelly, Lisa, and Screech?

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Professor Fletcher: No Teacher Can Behave Like That

Professor Fletcher was convinced that yelling tough love psychological warfare abuse could bring out the best in his students. But real teachers know that anything remotely like these tactics will never help students grow and succeed. Seriously, someone get this man into an SEL seminar.

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Mr. Kimble: Patience Is the First Virtue of Kindergarten

Ever notice how kindergarten teachers never let their voice get above a whisper? The Terminator could learn a thing or two from Mister Rogers.

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Mr. Finn: No Credentials, No Classroom

Music is a wonderful subject, but knowing how to rock out on Bon Jovi doesn’t qualify you to teach.

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Miss Honey: You Don’t Feel It Every Day

No one gets into this gig for the money. No one gets into it for the prestige or recognition either. Teachers enter the classroom to make a difference. But unlike Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey, sometimes we’d rather stay in our pajamas and binge Netflix.

The “teachers” in this list had teams of stylists (and not to mention an actor’s salary…) to help them appear well-rested and stress-free (two things hard to come by in the real teaching life). You may not have access to Hollywood pros, but there are practical strategies that can help you stay energized, balanced, and passionate in your teaching career, such as these professional development courses from Advancement Courses:

Realistic Ways to Become a Star Teacher

  • Becoming a Calm, Happy Teacher: Leave burnout, stress, and frustration behind for good. Get proven psychological tools to help you create a calmer, more balanced teaching career so you can be more present and energetic in every area of your life.
  • Self-Care Strategies for Teachers: Create long-term self-care strategies that will help you better manage stressful situations and build a more grounded, inspired, and sustainable career in education.
  • Stress Reduction for Better Teaching: Defeat acute and chronic stress for good so you can fully enjoy the greatest job on earth. You’ll develop a personal stress profile and stress management strategy to help you identify what triggers you and respond in a healthy way.

Advancement Courses offers more than 280 online, self-paced PD courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends in K–12 education. Courses are available for both graduate and continuing education credit for your salary advancement or recertification needs.

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