Have you ever felt inspired by one of your teachers to go above and beyond what you learned in the classroom? If not, maybe you felt inspired by one of the teachers from your favorite television show or film. These fictional teachers helped their students do everything from simply graduate high school with a better outlook on life to helping those students save the world. See whether your favorite fictional teacher made the list of the best movie and television teachers of all time.
Fans of the cult television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer remember Rupert Giles as librarian of Buffy’s high school and as her watcher, but he also taught her a lot about life over the course of seven seasons. Though he started out as a somewhat stodgy British man, the show slowly revealed more about his back story and developed him into a stronger character. He eventually became a fan favorite, and many fans found themselves upset when the actor who portrayed Giles took short breaks from the show in later seasons. Giles helped Buffy and her friends save the world many times as well.
Tina Fey made a name for herself as the first female head writer in the history of Saturday Night Live, but she appealed to a whole new generation of fans as the math teacher Ms. Norbury in the hit film Mean Girls. Playing against Lindsay Lohan as the sometimes clueless Cady, Norbury was the one who taught her that there was more to life than being popular and that it was fun and even cool to join the math club. It’s not surprising that Fey did such a good role in the film given that she wrote the script.
One of the best teachers from film just might be Mr. Holland, the main character from the film Mr. Holland’s Opus. Richard Dreyfuss portrays Holland, a composer forced to seek work at a high school music teacher after his wife becomes pregnant. Though he spends more than three decades inspiring his students and helping them become better musicians, he assumes that his students don’t realize how much he helped him. That all changes when his former students band together and show him just how much he really did mean to them. For this movie in particular, fans enjoy reading about character profiles and behind the scenes extras. A Google search for Don Burns on imdb, for example, will give you an idea of how much the actors enjoyed working on the project.
Based on a true story, the film Dangerous Minds was a hit with movie lovers. Michelle Pfeiffer took on the role of Louanne Johnson, a former Marine sent to work in an inner city school. Though her students initially care little about listening to her or even settling down, they eventually grow to respect her. Many students left the film wishing they had teachers like Johnson in their own high schools.
These fictional teachers represent just a few of those who touched the lives of watchers and fans over the years.