Dewey Finn: Highly Effective Educator

Upon re-watching School of Rock this weekend, I have evaluated Dewey Finn aka Ned Schneebly as a highly effective educator. Despite his lack of experience and teaching license, “Mr. Schneebly” creates an engaging classroom community.
How does he do this? He employs many of the techniques we already employ in our language classrooms!
1. He personalizes his classroom.
  • He gets to know his students, their interests and their frustrations.
  • He identifies their strengths as he watches how they interact in their specials class.
  • He co-creates new content based on student input.


2. He is asset-based in the way he communicates with his students.
  • He always praises strengths and never focuses on weaknesses.
  • He helps them find their strengths and capitalize on them.
3. He provides leadership roles based on students’ strengths and shares the power in his classroom.
  • Every student has a unique role in the class and has freedom to make decisions based on their expertise.


4. He coaches his performers and models his high expectations. (A skill that I am trying to improve on.)school-of-rock.jpg
5. He employs multiple modalities.
  • He provides music and movement for the auditory and kinesthetic learner.
  • He brings in realia such as instruments, costumes, and concert footage, for the visual and hands-on learner.


6. He is willing to put his authentic self into the class, modeling how to be vulnerable and strong in your own skin. 
  • He teaches them how to embrace failures.
  • He teaches them to question authority.
  • He teaches them how to accept criticism.


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This clip is among the best of his teaching strategies:

If you are looking for a boost before starting second semester, spend some time over your break watching this gem of a movie.

5 thoughts on “Dewey Finn: Highly Effective Educator

  1. This is a very powerful presentation of positive teaching methods! Thanks, Profe T. I hope many folks get a chance to read it over winter break and apply in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

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