Back to school time is rapidly approaching for some of you and depending on whether it’s high school or college, you’re either miserable or elated. But maybe you’ll get a wonderful teacher or professor who makes it all worth it, who sparks your thirst for knowledge, who perches on the edge of desks and says something that makes you say, “A-HA!” Or maybe they’re just really, really good looking. Here’s a list of my favorite teachers from TV and film:
10. Principal Skinner, The Simpsons.
“SKIIIINNNNERRR!” That Superintendent Chalmers (really hard by the way not to automatically type “Supernintendo Chalmers”) was always up in Skinner’s grill (get it? Because these hams are “Obviously grilled, not steamed”). You know what, screw it, I’m just going to put a bunch of Simpsons references and quotes in here:
His brilliant tact: “Well, Edna, for a school with no Asian kids, I think we put on a pretty darn good science fair.”
MRS. SKINNER: “Seymour, the house is on fire!”
SEYMOUR: “No mother, it’s just the northern lights.”
On his easy-going nature: “Good lord! The rod up that man’s butt must have a rod up its butt!” — Superintendent Chamlers
And to show what a strong leader he is: “Willie hears ya. Willie don’t care.” — Groundskeeper Willie, after Principal Skinner makes an announcement.
9. Mr. Brackett, In & Out.
Kevin Kline plays a teacher who is outed by his former student while giving an acceptance speech for an academy award. Throught the film, Brackett denies that he’s gay while wondering if maybe he is. No matter what, his students stand behind him, because he’s a great teacher, way better than that jerk Richard Dreyfuss in that film Mr. Holland’s Jaws. Maybe I’m thinking of two separate movies but I don’t think so.
8. Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall, Clueless.
Considering all the shenanigans that went on in his classroom, Mr. Hall was like, totally cool. And Ms. Geist was the lovable romantic. Together they make a lovely pair for their students to walk all over for years to come.
7. Ms. Cross, Rushmore.
Ms. Cross was every beret-wearing, intellectual, Latin-loving, club-founding, playwriting teenage boy’s dream. So really, that’s one kid. Max Fischer. But it was enough. Ms. Cross showed us that teachers have their own sassy lives too. And that may or may not include falling in love with Bill Murray. Look, he wrote a hit play, so he’s not sweating it either.
6. Mr. Belding, Saved By The Bell.
We all realize how weird it is that Mr. Belding was so focused on one kid in the entire high school, right? It’s like how Mr. Rooney was obsessed with Ferris Bueller but at least that made a little more sense. Ferris Bueller was a pretty big jerk. Zack Morris was also a jerk but for some reason, Mr. Belding found him to be one pretty cool dude. So Mr. Belding was always there to play a rousing prank on Screech or let the students hang out in his office and that’s an educator you can trust.
5. Ms. Honey, Matilda.
Ms. Honey! I don’t care if you were well out of elementary school when you saw or read Matilda, you wanted a teacher like Ms. Honey. And, you guys, when she adopts her?? Didn’t you just want to sob forever? And find a nice young teacher to adopt you? But one who has a giant mansion? Oh, spoiler alert. That stuff up there.
4. Ms. Norbury, Mean Girls.
Ms. Norbury wasn’t a regular teacher, she was a cool teacher. Really though, she listened to her students, encouraged them and even put up with Tim Meadows. And if you show up at her school and try to share your feelings and you don’t even go there, she’s going to ask you to go home. And that’s fair.
3. Professor Snape, Harry Potter empire.
Blah blah, McGonagall is better, Dumbledore is better, the werewolf guy is better, blah blah NO. We all know, deep in our dorky hearts, that Professor Snape is the one to beat. He’s like the Gaston of the Harry Potter series, from the long black hair to the complete arrogance. But underneath his saucy attitude lies a heart of whatever wizard hearts are made out of. You may think he doesn’t have your back, but oh he has it, friend. Snape is God’s patronus.
2. Dr. Jones, India Jones series.
In actuality, Dr. Jones was a pretty bad professor. Sure, he taught great lessons but then he would skip out of school for God knows how long to steal old things away from Nazis. Which is admirable but way above and beyond a teacher’s duties. Still, he’s really, really attractive, and that’s what counts.
1. Mr. Feeny, Boy Meets World.
Yeah, you knew this was coming. If you grew up in the ’90s, this was the best teacher you ever had. Mr. Turner was pretty cool too until he got into a motorcycle accident and was never seen or heard from again. Feeny would never do that. Feeny was solid as an oak tree. A wise old oak tree in your backyard. But oh, he will call you out on your shenanigans, Mr. Matthews. It’s tough love in this Feen’s world. Every time you do something bad, look at this picture of Mr. Feeny. That will straighten the hell out of you. You’re welcome.
PURPOSEFULLY ABSENT: EVERYONE FROM GLEE. SORRY!!! DEAL WITH IT.