In the movie, The Breakfast Club, principal Vernon is merciless in terms of punishment and does not allow the students to freely explain their side of the story. When one of them tries to explain that there has been a mistake, he instantly shuts them down and refuses to hear them out. This makes me think that he only has interest in discipline, and no interest in the students’ feelings or perspective. To me, a teacher should have the ability to listen to a student and not have complete power, otherwise the student will be treated unfairly and their needs may not be properly attended to. Teachers should realize they don’t always know what is right even if they are in a position of authority. Another thing is that Vernon openly shows no affection or care for the students. He does not show respect and has attitude towards them. This can be problematic if teachers show dislike and talks down to students, as then the students will not develop trust in the teacher and possibly will develop a disliking for them. This will cause barriers between the teacher-student relationship which might restrict the students’ learning experience. Furthermore, giving the students all the same punishment (spending the day at school on a Saturday) is not super effective. This is because each of them have done something wrong, but not all to the same degree. What one kid did may not have been as bad as the other, and one may be more deserving of the punishment than others. If teachers are going to discipline, they should do something that would be appropriate to the situation, instead of a standard, harsh punishment.
The teacher in Donnie Darko has a very fixated mindset and refuses to listen to Donnie when he contradicts her in the lesson. When Donnie says that things in this world cannot be categorized into two groups (love and fear), the teacher says he is wrong but does not explain why herself. This means that she is refusing to take his view into account even though he has a good point. She refuses to discuss it and is not willing to consider another perspective. This can be problematic for teachers because not considering other possibilities other than what they are teaching prevents students from expressing creative ideas and critical thinking. Teachers who assume they always have the right answer never allow themselves or their students to come up with solutions or other ways of thinking. Had the teacher discussed Donnie’s idea, this could have been a good opportunity for class discussion. However, she denied the opportunity because she was afraid of being made a fool of. Teachers should be open to the fact that the curriculum can be contradicted and the answer is not always on paper.