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5 Arnie Movie Quotes That Will Make You A Better Teacher

The Most Badass Movie Poster Ever

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Austrian Oak.

The Terminator.

The Former Governor of California.


The 80s & 90s, Arnie was the biggest action star on the planet, fighting terrorists, aliens & demons, armed with huge muscles, massive guns and his deadpan trademark Austrian accent.

This blogpost was inspired by a tweet, I sent recently...

Despite making, directing and winning an Oscar for Rocky, Sly Stallone was beaten comfortably by the former Mr Universe.

So in this week's blogpost, with my tongue-firmly-in-my-cheek, I'll be looking at some of Arnie's classic one-liners to mine the wisdom to help us in Education.

1. "Stop Whining! You kids are soft. You lack discipline” – Kindergarten Cop (1990)

In Kindergarten Cop, Arnie plays Detective John Kimble, a rugged badass detective who is forced to go undercover as a primary school teacher to find a vital witness. Arnie realises that arresting drug-dealers is easier than dealing with a class of 30 school kids!

His behaviour management strategies are... interesting.

Although I think Arnie would fail his PGCE, he was right about one thing. This iconic line was said when he wanted tried to implement new changes in their daily routines that would create more harmony.

A great teacher sometimes has to take charge of a classroom especially if things are going wrong. Also, the teacher will have to give feedback that may not make them popular in the moment.

Although, you have to be warm & empathetic towards your students, you need to also be able to use (but not abuse) your authority. But in our challenging times, authority has become a dirty word... But we shouldn't be afraid of it but rather, wield it properly & justly.

Luckily for you, I wrote a whole blogpost breaking it down like faulty IKEA bunkbeds. Click here for that sweet knowledge.

2. Allow me to BREAK THE ICE” – Batman & Robin (1997)

This film...

Although this wasn't Arnie nor George Clooney's finest moments, the watch value is seeing Arnie have a ball as the ice-based bad guy Mr Freeze as he tried to take over Gotham City. Arnie is absolutely in his element as he reels off every ice-based quip known to man!

I hope that you are not planning to take over your city soon or blast an ice-ray gun at your students (think about the 'ealth & Safety) - but it's important that you add a little excitement & fun to your classrooms.

If you can create lessons where your students can have a little fun and engage with subject, then your kids won't have time to raise carnage. They say that 'trouble makes work for idle hands' so make sure they have something to focus on...

In my blog "4 Teaching Strategies That will Keep Your Students on The Edge of their Seats," I give 4 specific techniques that I use to keep them on their toes. Click here for more info.

3. "COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE” – T2: Judgement Day (1991)

Arguably Arnie's greatest on-screen performance. The killer cyborb sent from the future with cool shades, a midnight coloured leather jacket and huge guns has made Arnie deservedly iconic in cinema.

In Terminator 2: Judgement Day Arnie's T800 was this time on the side of the angels, protecting Sarah Conner & her son John, the future leader of the Human Resistance & Earth's only hope.

Here T800 tries to rescue Sarah Conner in a psychiatric institution who is terrified of him because the exact model years before, killed the love of her life & destroyed everything she knew.

With the T1000 hot on their tails, Arnie presents her a simple choice: come with me or die. Arnie didn't shout or force his opinion on her - he left the ball in her court.

Although we lead our classes, we don't actually control them. Especially with our older students, we should encourage them to make their own choices.


Successful teachers create boundaries and clear reward and sanction structures that they explain clearly to their students. Your job is to guide them into making the right decisions.

How do you do that? Well, I wrote a post arguing that Morpheus from The Matrix Trilogy would be a great behaviour manager & looked at what we could do in our classrooms to be just as cool. Read it here.

4. “Who is your daddy, and what does he do?” – Kindergarten Cop (1990)

Returning to Kindergarten Cop, as the film progresses, Arnie's character realises that as well as being tough, he needed to do more to build relationships with his students.

He made his lessons more fun & engaging based on what he learnt about his pupils and in turn, they started to get to know him too. That classic line was from one of their sessions together.

You don't need to go around and ask your students who their parents are (plus that could be a bit sensitive,) but get to know who the guys that sit in your class are.

Your authority as a teacher will get them to behave. But it's your relationship with them that will make them engage. The ability to build rapport and strong emotional bonds is what I call 'warmth' & the absolute master of this skill was the late great Nelson Mandela.

Read my blogpost where I looked at what, why and how on 'warm leadership' - click here for more info.

5. “I’LL BE BACK” – The Terminator (1984)

Arnie's most iconic line.

Arnie walks into a police station & requests to see Sarah Conner. Arnie is denied. Arnie drives a car into the reception.

Now, for the love of Pete, do not do this in your classrooms!!!

But this blog I'm going to put a different spin on his line. Sometimes it's OK to take a step back from things so that you can get a clearer perspective. For the Terminator, it was a different way to try to assassinate Sarah Conner, but for you, it's good for your well being.

Teaching is an incredibly stressful & time-consuming job. It never ends & it's easy to burnout. You make so much time out for your students, but do you do the same for yourself?

Looking after yourself is perhaps the most selfless thing that you can do for your students. I wrote about the dangers of teacher burnout & what causes it here & simple ways that you look after yourself here.

There you have it! Hopefully you learned something & had a little fun along the way! For more blogposts, announcements and giveaways, signup to the AHT blog below so you never miss a thing!

It will take you less than 10 seconds & this is how you will feel afterwards. 😎



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