On-screen Educators Continue to Inspire

January 11, 2017

Educators come in all shapes and sizes.

 Every teacher has a unique way they reach their students. Whether it's punny humor, unorthodox experiments, raucous music, or just being a good listener - the list could literally go on forever. Teachers from the big screen are obviously fictional, but that doesn't necessarily lessen their impact on impressionable minds. Most likely, these teachers were based off attributes that the writer or director loved/hated about educators of their past. With that in mind, here are the top five fictional teachers who have inspired me.

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John Keating (Robin Williams), Dead Poets Society

Mr. Keating was an extraordinary and inspirational teacher. His nontraditional methods of educating caught the attention of the young men at the boarding school. Keating’s passion was evident throughout the entire movie. O Captain! My Captain!

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Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith), The Harry Potter Series

Although I might not technically be sorted into House Gryffindor, she is without doubt one of my all-time favorite fictional educators. Professor McGonagall is a confident, eloquent woman. She teaches with an iron fist, but she truly cares for her students. Not to mention, it’s Maggie Smith. I mean, come on.

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Dewey Finn (Jack Black), The School of Rock

Dewey Finn definitely got off to a rocky start. After stealing his roommate’s identity to make some cash as a substitute, “Mr. S” grew into his role as a teacher. Although sometimes loud and crude, he managed to tap into his students’ potential. He made them all little rockstars! Dewey uses music and comedy to engage his students. He turned out to be the role model that the kids needed. They also turned out to be super talented, too!


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Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus Come on, every child from the 90's loves Ms. Frizzle! With her magic schoolbus, pet lizard, and zany personality there is no way she wasn’t well-equipped for the job. I loved watching The Magic School Bus as a child. Ms. Frizzle would take her students on educational adventures that were always wild yet informative. I think that my favorite was when she shrunk the students and went on a journey in the human body.

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Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World

Mr. Feeny is yet another classic from my childhood. I am not going to tell a tale, I did not like him at first. Feeny was straight-laced and strict. He wasn’t the “fun” teacher. He was probably the teacher that I would pray I didn’t get placed with in elementary school. He knew what was best for the students. Not only was he a great educator, he was also a role model and moral compass for his students. As the years passed, you saw how much respect and love the students had for him. I would definitely love more for my child to be stuck in his class.

That was just a few of my favorite fictional educators. Even though they technically aren’t the “real deal”, they were still able to inspire through television- for that, I am grateful. 

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