(who is supposed to do what is best for their child), the role of a teacher
is once again undermined by conflict instead of being supported.
School of Rock
Out of all four movies, School of Rock possesses the most intense
focus on parent-teacher relationships as it depicts a private school staff
consistently stressed by the stereotypical helicopter parent. There is an
immediate conflict exposed between teachers and parents as the plot
allows a burned-out “dud” to infiltrate a strict school system as a
substitute while posing as his roommate, who is a legitimate substitute
teacher. Although the film starts off with Dewey Finn (Jack Black)
fitting the stereotypes of the bad teacher model, he transforms when he
discovers the children’s musical talent. This talent overlaps with his
own, and Finn aims to get revenge on his former band and unexpectedly
(but not unpredictably) wins over viewers and students alike in the
process. Although he still may not be fulfilling the stereotypical role of
a good teacher, Finn allows his students to both “let loose” while also
exposing talents the students never before saw in themselves (Dalton
61-84).
Despite the positive messages Finn teaches his students, he still
causes conflict with the parents because they are focused solely on
academic goals. Conflict begins to occur as parents notice subtle
increases in their children’s attention to rock music. One illustrative
scene shows one of the students, Zack (Joey Gaydos, Jr.) being
reminded by his father that school and chores come before he practices
music, and rock music is prohibited. The conflict takes full flight on
parent-teacher night as parents seek answers about the curriculum the
kids have been following and want to know why they have become
more interested in rock. As Finn provides no answers and is eventually
busted as an impostor, conflict increases as well as the parent’s
disapproval.
Although including this conflict between a burned out teacher
and intense parents guides the plot along by providing both comedy
and conflict, it misses the opportunity to show the many benefits of
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