It's never a bad time to show our educators some love!
I feel like sometimes our teachers get overlooked when we think of essential workers. Trying to keep a class of children (big or small!) engaged is such a difficult thing to achieve, and our teachers do it effortlessly five days a week.
Teachers wear many different hats – entertainer, nurse, motivational speaker, disciplinarian – and playing al those roles while teaching is no easy task. So for all the work that goes on behind the scenes, all the times they've looked out for us and our kids and all the effort and work that goes into a single school day, we say thanks!
Check out our favourite fictional teachers from movies and books that have inspired, nurtured and entertained us throughout the years:
The sweetest teacher in history, Ms Honey inspired an entire generation of students to take on teaching careers – and bullies! Beneath her softness, she has major backbone, standing up to her scary Aunt Truchbull by the movie’s end. Always looking out for her kids and nurturing their interests, she believes in Matilda and values her when no one else does.
Jess from New Girl gives us major Ms Honey vibes but with a lot more sass and clumsiness. Sweet, compassionate and even a little silly at times, she’s the epitome of what a teacher should be, going above and beyond for her students. Like with that episode where instead of giving the misbehaving kids detention, she teaches them how to play the bells – with a little help and hindrance from Winston – and works with them towards self-improvement rather than using punishment to work through their problems.
(It's pronounced Sché-bléy) Okay, so he wasn’t technically a teacher. But we love Mr Schneebly anyway! While he had a bit of a ‘rocky’ start (lol), soon he got to know the kids and really care about them, encouraging their talents and interests. He helped them believe in themselves, not allowing them to limit themselves by how they look or what they think they can do. The scene when he takes Tamika aside and builds up her confidence so she can embrace her powerful voice despite her shyness, is what teaching is all about.
AN ICON! Stepping beyond the role of teacher, McGonagall becomes an almost motherly figure to Harry, who is lost and lonely when he first arrives at Hogwarts. Definitely one of the sterner people on this list, we love her for her smart humour and the how even when she’s cross, she has a little twinkle in her eye. Her motherliness comes out in Gryffindor-like ferocity when protecting her students and her transfiguration skills are second to none! Powerful and protective, McGonagall is definitely one of our favourites on the list!
Oh Captain my Captain! If you’re looking for inspiration, Robin William’s Mr Keating from Dead Poet’s Society is our go-to. A teacher after our own hearts, his passion for literature and life shines through in his inspiring lessons, that make his students think outside the box and smash the stereotypes that limit them. Helping his students to live life on their own terms, he encourages their creative explorations and even though he gets in trouble for his rebellious teachings, he sticks to his guns, encouraging them to question systems that oppress them.
Forget TJ and Spinelli, Ms Grotke was our recess favourite! Her dorky enthusiasm for learning and teaching made her totally adorable and interesting to be taught by, always having the answer for any questions the recess gang could come up with. Dedicated to her kids and her craft, her lessons are always packed with kindness and excitement – and surprisingly a lot of wokeness. The episode where she questions why history centres mainly on 'white western males' might have gone over our head as kids, but Grotke was ahead of her time! With an emphasis on art and musicality, kindness is key with her as she always advises the kids not to judge a book by its cover.
Another parent-like figure to Harry, Lupin is generally a much calmer presence than McGonagall is, but his dedication to teaching and his students goes above and beyond. Flying in the face of prejudice, he prioritises the ‘greater good’, while still creating a classroom environment full of empathy and justice. One of our favourite scenes is the boggart classroom scene, where his fun personality combines with his great teaching ethic, showing the students how to overcome their fears and improve their skills. He gives them courage and helps them make it through things they never thought they could – plus we got to see Alan Rickman in a dress in one of the most priceless scenes in cinematic history.