You’ve all seen movies or television shows with hopeless teachers failing to connect with their students. Some are feel-good films, some are pure comedies, and some make you think, “These teachers really could’ve used facilitation training.”

Who remembers these hilarious teachers from the big, and small, screen?

1. Mr. Hand – Fast Times at Ridgemont High


Mr. Hand was very uptight, strict and not good at handling dysfunction. Who could forget the conflicting moments he had with the surfer student played by Sean Penn?

2. Ms. Halsey –  Bad Teacher 

Cameron Diaz

Speaking of dysfunction (as if the movie title itself doesn’t give it away), Cameron Diaz playing a corrupt, curse-talking teacher is enough to make you want to re-take The Effective Facilitator!


3. Dick – The Breakfast Club


It was the “Brat Pack” versus Richard “Dick” Vernon. He could’ve used some tips on consensus building to avoid the group rebellion.


4. Economics Teacher – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


The famous lines – “Anyone? Anyone?” and “Bueller? Bueller?” – are the perfect examples of what a teacher would say when he/she lacks engagement, energy, or even acknowledgement from the students. How about a round-robin, teach?


5. Detective John Kimble – Kindergarten Cop 


He was telling – not facili-training. Poor Arnold… Kindergartners prefer the facilitative approach too! He probably didn’t know that, like facilitators, teachers must also be able to wear multiple hats.


6. Mr. Finn (“Mr. S”) – School of Rock


No process, no structure, no agenda – yikes! Although talented, passionate, and engaging, Jack Black’s character could’ve benefited from the Facilitator’s Methodology!


7. Gabe Kotter – “Welcome Back, Kotter”


He couldn’t make training stick… because you know those guys weren’t passing! Sure – Mr. Kotter was a funny wise guy, but in order to teach the “unteachable,” engagement strategies are surely needed.

Who are other teachers from the movie or television screen that could’ve used facilitation training? What facilitation advice would you give them?

(Here’s one hint – sign up for facilitation training! These courses – The Effective Facilitator and Facilitation Skills for Trainers – work wonders to combat the blunders these seven teachers faced!)