Teaching is one of the oldest and most noble professions in human history. It is not surprising then that movies and TV shows have their fair share of some amazing teachers. Here are 5 fantastic on-screen teachers that every high-school should have.
John Keating (Dead Poets Society)
Undoubtedly one of Robin Williams’ finest performances, English teacher John Keating takes the concept of being a teacher and a role model to completely new heights. Armed with unusual teaching methods and a genuine passion for the subject he teaches, John Keating encourages students to look at the English language from a very different perspective; an outlook that is usually frowned upon in academic circles. Even though his star pupils succumb to pressure and derail his career, he bears them no ill-will and continues to encourage them to pursue their dreams. John Keating’s selflessness and passion earn him the respect of his students and movie audiences.
Richard Belding (Saved by the Bell)
Strictly speaking, Mr Belding is not a teacher at Bayside High; he is the principal. However, he is a member of the faculty and students learned more important lessons from him in the halls than they did in the classrooms. Although he is the chief authority figure in the show, he defies all conventions and stereotypes by not trying to alienate himself from the students of Bayside High School. Mr Belding has a genuine interest in the development of his students and he often ensures that his students learn valuable life lessons. Though he may be outfoxed by Zack Morris a few times, he has quite a few tricks up his own sleeve.
Grady Tripp (Wonder Boys)
Teachers are human beings too and Grady Tripp is a reminder that teachers are not infallible. However, despite his own shortcomings, Professor Tripp never fails to put his students first and protect them. How many teachers do you know who would drive around with a dead dog in their car’s trunk in order to protect a student? Not many I’m guessing. Despite having trouble coming up with a solid manuscript worthy of publishing, Tripp continues to encourage his students to write to the best of their abilities. Wonder Boys is perhaps one of the most underrated films of all time and it is a shame that most people aren’t aware about Michael Douglas’ stellar performance as the wonderful Professor Grady Tripp.
George Feeney (Boy Meets World)
There are teachers who teach and then there are teachers who inspire and mentor. George Feeney definitely falls into the latter category. Mr Feeney’s character is so popular that he becomes the high school principal by the second season of Boy Meets World and leaves to become a college professor at Pennbrook College in order to continue teaching Cory and friends. A constant motivator, Mr Feeney realizes the importance of teachers in a person’s life and believes they are responsible for more than teaching what’s in the textbooks. With a massive fan following, the character of George Feeney has achieved cult status and is one of the most iconic pop culture references of the 90s. When Boy Meets World finally ended in 2000, Mr Feeney had the distinction of saying the final words of the series to an empty classroom, “I love you all. Class dismissed.”
Sharon Norbury (Mean Girls)
In any Tina Fey production, the audience is guaranteed to come across female characters that have real world problems, just like real women. In Mean Girls, Ms Norbury proves that teachers too have problems and issues just like any other human being and do their best to cope with things. Although recently divorced and forced to handle three jobs, Ms Norbury never lets her personal life interfere with her job as a Math teacher. She spots potential and does not hesitate to encourage students to embrace their talents. Moreover, she is a fun person and easily relates to high school students and the pressure they are constantly under. Just like John Keating, she too is unfairly accused by some students of something she didn’t do, yet acts calm and handles the situation with empathy and not losing her composure. Ms Norbury isn’t just a teacher you respect, but a teacher you would high-five when you run across her at the mall.
Even though these 5 characters may be fictional, we only have to look around to realize that there are teachers and tutors in real life who go the extra mile for the sake of their students.
The author of this post, Ryan Hall, is currently working with Progressive Home Tutors in Brisbane. He has an enthusiastic personality and he enjoys interacting with people.