15 Fictional Teachers We Love
Here’s a blog we’ve always wanted to write. Some teachers have been part in our lives even if they weren’t real!
1. Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World
It’s a textbook formula for laughs: nerdy teacher with funny name + two pranksters (and one vegetarian) = amusing sitcom. Mr. Feeny was the stern teacher and neighbor in Boy Meets World who shaped the lives of Cory, Topanga, and Shawn forever. Unlike Mr. Turner, the kids’ idealistic, motorcycle-driving English instructor, Feeny takes an old school stance. Feeny isn’t the teacher kids want; he’s the teacher kids need. As Cory and his friends turn from fledglings into full-fledge adults, the audience gets to see Feeny’s impact on their life decisions.
Mr. Feeny: Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good.
Topanga: Don’t you mean, do well?
Mr. Feeny: No, I mean “do good.”
2. Ms. Frizzle from Magic School Bus
Part of a teacher’s job is to show kids the world. And it helps when the teacher is out-of-this world! Enter Ms. Frizzle. She takes her classroom on an unforgettable ride – into the solar system, under the bed, into the American Flag, into the human body… Ms. Frizzle makes every day an adventure; every snafu, a learning opportunity.
Is it the magic school bus that lets her kids see so much? Or simply, imagination? We love Ms. Frizzle for helping children see the magic behind math and science.
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.
3. Mr. Holland from Mr. Holland’s Opus
When the story begins, he’s a composer who takes a teaching job just to pay the bills and enjoy more free time with his wife. Mr. Holland soon realizes that teaching is much more than a day job and devotes endless hours and all of his energy to his students, who improve dramatically. However, as his students improve, his personal life unravels when he finds out his son is hearing impaired.
Mr. Holland reminds us that teaching isn’t just a 9-5 job. It takes dedication, talent, and passion.
Play the Sunset
4. Mr. Cooper from Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper
Sense of humor? Check. Compassion? Check. Coolness. Check Check. If Mr. Cooper was a real P.E. teacher, there would be a waitlist for his class. In the show, he’s an ex-NBA player-turned substitute. He can dunk a basketball and roll it from one arm to the other. Plus, he comes with one catchy theme song (Coo-oo-oo-ooper…)
Earvin (while working at “Clown Burger”): “I’m a clown!”
Cooper: “I know that, but what do you work with?”
5. Mr. Kotter from Welcome Back Kotter
How many of us wonder what it would be like to return to high school as a teacher? No wonder Welcome Back Kotter was so popular. Mr. Kotter returns to his alma mater to teach a group of students, known as the “Sweathogs,” in remedial classes. He recognizes that the kids aren’t hopeless, just misunderstood. Instead of casting them off as misfits who don’t have a chance, he applies lessons to situations they understand. And it works!
Kotter: What would have happened if George Washington quit, huh? If Abraham Lincoln quit? What would have happened if Murray Cornfeld quit?
Freddie: I ain’t never heard of no Murray Cornfeld!
Kotter: You know why you never heard of him? ‘Cause he quit!
6. Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society
O Captain! My Captain! Mr. Keating from the Dead Poets Society taught his group of prep school boys to carpe diem and to shake off societies’ conventions. Mr. Keating’s unconventional methods (which include ripping out pages of a textbook) later get him fired. As he leaves, a student cries out O Captain! My Captain! And Keating realizes his poetry pupils will be seizing every day from then on.
Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone
7. Mark Thackeray in from To Sir with Love
Mark Thackeray has a tough job: he’s a black teacher, in 1967, in a predominately white London school. His classroom comprises rough and tumble inner city kids who drove their last teacher to resign. After several pranks and incidents, Thackeray comes to the conclusion that he’s been treating the teenagers too much like children, tosses those textbooks, and gives the kids a bit more freedom.
Student: They got their minds made up about us, Mr. Thackeray
Mark Thackeray: Then change them.
8. Yoda (you surely know what Yoda’s from!)
They say the more you age, the wiser you become. There’s no better example of this than Yoda, the old sage from the planet Dagobah who helps Luke Skywalker destroy the Dark Side in the original Star Wars trilogy. Yoda, who is 900 years old in the film, teaches Luke the ways of the Force so he can become a Jedi Knight and ultimately defeat the Galactic Empire. Just another reason you should listen to your grandparents when they corner you in a room.
Do or do not. There is no try.
9. William Forrester from Finding Forrester
William Forrester, a famous author who became a recluse in top floor apartment takes 16-year-old Jamal under his wing as a student of sorts. And this is even after Jamal breaks into his apartment on a dare. Mr. Forrester is the type of teacher who will be honest with you, even if it hurts. But his honesty teaches you to take life into your own hands and overcome the hardships of the world outside one’s home.
Writers write things to give readers something to read.
10. Mr. Bergstrom from The Simpsons
When Ms. Hoover becomes sick, Mr. Bergstrom comes in to teach Lisa Simpson and the rest of their class in this classic episode of The Simpsons. Mr. Bergstrom’s enthusiasm for teaching reinvigorates Lisa’s love for learning while showing her that the only person she needs in order to succeed is herself. Oh, and he’s voiced by Dustin Hoffman, so that alone makes him pretty awesome.
Principal Skinner: Are you the substitute?
Mr. Bergstrom: Yessir, yes I am.
Principal Skinner: Are you insane?
Mr. Bergstrom: Uh, no sir, no I’m not. It’s my way of getting their attention.
11. Sister Mary Clarence from Sister Act
Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer-turned-nun, turns a group of tone-deaf singers into a choir even the Pope can get behind. She does so by teaching them how to sing with feeling, and to believe themselves when all seems lost.
How can you say that? I worked my butt of with these women! They’ve given up their free time to do this, and they’re GOOD! I mean, sister, we could, we could ROCK this place!
12. John Kimble from Kindergarten Cop
Police Detective John Kimble is used to taking down criminals, not taming 6-year-olds. But this doesn’t keep him from using his police training to teach these kids respect towards others and discipline. Oh, and it also helps that he has a pet ferret. What kid wouldn’t want a pet ferret!?
You should be reading stories about bears that go shopping!
13. Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Mr. Hand is another teacher who lives under the motto of “tough love,” constantly badgering his nemesis Jeff Spicoli in hopes that it’ll whip him into shape. When Spicoli continues to ignore him, Mr. Hand has no chance but to show up at Spicoli’s house and have an at-home lesson on prom night. Spicoli realizes just how horrible he was to Mr. Hand and shocks him by apologizing. All is forgiven!
[Mr. Hand writes “I don’t know” on the blackboard]
Mr. Hand: ‘Mr. Hand, will I pass this class?’ Gee, Mr. Spicoli, I don’t know! You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to leave your words right up here for all my classes to enjoy, giving you full credit of course, Mr. Spicoli.
Jeff Spicoli: All right!
14. Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid
Teaching can come from anyone, even your residential maintenance man. Such was the case for Daniel LaRusso in the film The Karate Kid. Daniel becomes a student of Mr. Miyagi after he watches him dispatch some high school bullies. Daniel believes he will become a karate master. Mr. Miyagi instead teaches Daniel to have a sound mind and body and become a well-rounded individual capable of tackling any situation.
Wax on…Wax off
15. Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell
High School principals don’t always get the best rap, but Mr. Belding was a principal we all wish we had. Goofy but stern, Mr. Belding could make a bad joke one minute, then give the students at Bayside High School a life lesson the next. That was if he didn’t fall for one of Zach Morris’s pranks first.
Mr. Belding: Screech, you can’t elope.
Screech: Who’re you calling a cantaloupe, you melon head?
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