Treating students with kindness and respect builds their self-confidence. Bill Rago, an English military teacher, is seen as a friendly man who treats his students well. He sees them as individuals and works hard to keep all in good spirit. Students are enthusiastic about his class. Mrs. Dollen, a 4th grade teacher, is the kind of teacher you would wake up to to start the morning and not be looking forward to seeing. She doesn't mind if she puts down her students let alone hit them. Striking fear into the eyes of her students, Mrs. Dollen is a kid's worst nightmare.
A good teacher is someone who does not judge their students. Bill Rago is just that. He sees them as individuals and sticks up for them. For example Brian Davis Jr. (so proud of his father’s achievements, yet has no proof. Rago finds the proof and Davis is awarded his father’s Silver Star at the graduation ceremony). Mrs. Dollen on the other hand, sees her students as unruly kids who need to be disciplined and controlled. She fails at doing so because she yells at the kids and expects that to be the solution.
While Bill is a man of optimism, Mrs. Dollen is a woman of pessimism. Bill provides his students with words of encouragement to help them realize their inner-strengths. “You are not dumb. I want you to realize nobody gave you anything.” Meaning, they all brought upon themselves everything they know today. No one has helped them get where they are more than themselves, so they should have no problems in his class. He goes on to teach Hamlet, giving the students a final exam encouraging them to take it. Mrs. Dollen is a bully. She insults and hits some of her students. She uses tactics of fear and mind games to draw fear into the eyes of Myles (one of the smarter students). She puts him in the back of the class and tells him he is not as smart as he thinks he is. Myles is picked on to give answers to questions he doesn't know the answer to. Mrs. Dollen is happy about it because it...
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