Teacher Features is the podcast that explores what Hollywood gets right and wrong about education. In each episode we watch a movie that features a teacher. We then discuss what the teacher does well, what they do poorly, and what they could do to improve their teaching. Teacher Features is hosted by Kathryn Oberg and Jake Scott, two elementary school teachers in Minnesota.
Bad Teacher | Teacher Features: Episode 12
Regrettably, this week we watched the movie Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz. This movie was terrible. We both hated it. Even Jason Segel could not elevate this dumpster fire of a movie. But maybe we can learn something from this, right?
Cameron Diaz is Ms. Halsey. She wants to attract a rich husband, so she cooks up a contrived plot to get rich by cheating on a standardized test. It’s really dumb and makes no sense.
Most of the characters in this movie are without redeeming qualities. There were some well observed moments that rung true to us, but they were few and far between.
We’d love to hear your opinion about this movie. Let’s chat on Twitter or Facebook. Did any teacher actually like this movie? We would love to hear what you liked about it, because we struggled with this one.
October Sky | Teacher Features: Episode 11
October Sky is the story of a rocket-loving boy named Homer and the teacher who inspired him. The teacher is Ms. Riley, played by Laura Dern. We watched October Sky and did an evaluation on Ms. Riley.
Matilda (part 2) | Teacher Features: Episode 10
This week we continued our discussion of Matilda and did a teacher evaluation of Agatha Trunchbull, aka The Trunchbull, the principal at Matilda’s school.
Ms. Trunchbull, a former Olympian, rules her school with an iron fist. Her towering figure and acerbic tongue strike fear into the hearts of her students and staff. A firm believer in corporal punishment, The Trunchbull does not tolerate anything less than full obedience. Her methods would certainly get her ousted from her position at the school – and probably incarcerated, but we were able to find a few positive things to say about this colorful character.
If you, like Kathryn, don’t know a lot about Olympic field events, specifically the hammer throw, check out this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_throw
If you love Bruce Bogtrotter as much as we did, and also like Rhianna, check out this great video:
We would love to see the Matilda musical when it comes to Minneapolis this Spring, so if you want to go with us reach out on Facebook or Twitter.
Matilda | Teacher Features: Episode 9
For this episode we evaluated Ms. Honey, the loving primary school teacher from Matilda. Directed by Danny Devito, this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic middle grade novel tells the story of a gifted young girl named Matilda. Matilda is a genius and when she goes to school her teacher immediately recognizes her gifts. However, the wicked principal, Ms. Trunchbull, is not supportive and runs her school like a weird children’s prison. To make things worse, Matilda’s parents are negligent and cruel. Matilda’s father makes a living cheating people at his car dealership, while her airhead mother fritters her days away at the Bingo Hall.
Ms. Honey is a loving, supportive teacher. It’s hard to say exactly how effective her methods are, as they’re not depicted, but we were able to draw conclusions based on what is shown.
Katherine had a particular affinity for this movie when she was a students because she sort of resembled Matilda. She had the same haircut when she was a kid.
If anyone wants to go see the musical version of Matilda, Jake and Katherine would really love to go with you. It combines so many of the things we love: teaching, kids books, musicals. It’s coming to Minneapolis soon. Maybe we’ll see you there.
A Christmas Story | Teacher Features: Episode 8
In this special holiday episode we evaluate Ms. Shields from A Christmas Story. Shields is definitely old school – this movie takes place in the 30’s – but we can still apply some of her strategies in our modern classrooms.
Ms. Shields definitely has command of her students, but there are a few things we didn’t like about her methods.
Jake has some strong opinions about Elf of a Shelf. Katherine shares some ideas about how to share your personality and laugh with your kids.
For more about how terrible Elf on the Shelf is, read here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/plato-pop/201212/let-s-bench-the-elf-the-shelf
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back | Teacher Features: Episode 7
In this episode we watched Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and did an evaluation of Yoda’s teaching. Yoda isn’t a typical teacher like we’ve seen in the other movies we’ve reviewed. He’s doing a 1:1 Jedi training with Luke Skywalker. His methods may seem unconventional, but he gets results.
We went into a lot of detail about Yoda’s backstory. Kathryn brought a lot of fun facts. We also discussed growth mindset, teacher face, and dealing with whiny students.
Looking at the movie with a focus on the teaching made us wonder what Yoda would be like as a classroom teacher in his youth. We would love to see a teacher movie starring young Yoda.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about Yoda’s teaching. We’d also love more info about Yoda’s back story.
And hey, here’s a weird video of Yoda singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9TIC2jpBiU
Connect with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teacherfeatures
Or start a conversation on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PodcastPLC
Great Chem 'n Content
Jake and Kathryn have great chemistry and make great points about the educational prowess of films' teachers. Both earnest and hilarious, this podcast is totes awesome.
As someone who is not in the education field I appreciate their insight on different teaching styles and techniques. It helps me to have greater insight on what is going on inside of my children's classrooms. They are engaging and fun to listen to. I am always excited when a new episode is released. Keep them coming! :)
Great concept. Funny and very well done movie podcast with some educational insight. Kathyrn and Jake had me laughing and loved the use of movie clips. Can't wait for more episodes (plese do dangerous minds!)