Accessability Links

Education News

What can we learn from film's worst teachers?

Tagged In:  ITN Mark
10 October 2016

Bad teachers have been featured in Hollywood Blockbusters for decades as a source of comic or horrific effect.

But who are the worst teachers in film? And what can we learn from them?

Read on to find out who we think takes the biscuit with their teaching techniques.

Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter

Fans of the Harry Potter franchise are often split about whether or not the headteacher of Hogwarts was a good teacher or not. We think there are some areas where he could do better!

Dumbledore, although coming across as a seemingly reasonable teacher, regularly shows unapologetic acts of favouritism towards Harry Potter and his friends. The gang of students are repeatedly allowed to break the school rules, often risking the lives of other pupils, and Dumbledore barely raises an eyebrow.


It is vital that teachers don’t show any favouritism towards certain pupils. Showing favouritism may only serve to alienate some pupils and cause others to feel a false sense of authority over their peers.

Miss Trunchbull - Matilda

Where do we start? Miss Trunchbull instils fear into the hearts of all the pupils she meets and takes pleasure in dishing out cruel and unnecessary punishments. When Bruce Bogtrotter steals a slice of Miss Trunchbull's cake she forces him to eat the entire cake in front the school, humiliating him in the process.

Although Miss Truchbull is a heavily excessive character, her behaviour demonstrates that running a classroom using fear and intimidation tactics just doesn’t work.


By leading your class through praising good behaviour and providing constructive criticism for areas that could be improved, you will go from a good teacher to a great one, and earn the respect of your pupils along the way.

The Economics Teacher - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

One of the most challenging aspects of being a teacher is making a seemingly ‘boring’ subject be of interest to the pupils. We can do this in a variety of different ways, none of which involve just standing in front of the class and talking to them in a monotone voice.

That’s exactly what the Economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off did and, as you can imagine, there were students actually sleeping on the desks in his classroom.


When teaching a subject that your class is struggling to engage with, try to make it as practical as possible. Encourage group work or presentations, or even plan a class trip somewhere that would encourage them to take more of an interest in the subject.

Related Articles
Top CV Tips for Teachers
Top CV Tips for Teachers
13 June 2017
Following our article last week about how teachers can get their CVs interview ready we’ve developed a handy guide for... READ MORE
National Storytelling Week: How you can teach your children about the great art of telling a story
National Storytelling Week: How you can teach your children about the great art of telling a story
27 January 2017
All children love listening to and telling stories and National Storytelling Week celebrates this hugely important part... READ MORE
The ways we use maths before 9am
The ways we use maths before 9am
27 January 2017
We’ve all heard it in the classroom; a student will say, “But Miss, we’re never going to use maths when we leave school”... READ MORE
View Related Jobs
Supply Nursery Nurse
Location: Bristol
Teaching Assistant
Location: Birmingham
Primary Teacher
Location: Sutton Coldfield