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10 Memorable Teachers in Movies

Memorable teachers in movies have the ability to inspire, motivate, and teach us valuable life lessons. Regardless of how long you've been out of school, it's impossible to reflect on your educational experience without remembering the teachers who influenced it most.

an image of a teacher and student with text: "Memorable Teachers in Movies"

Just like in real life, some movie teachers leave a lasting impression. Whether they're incredibly inspiring or woefully unfit for the job, these teacher movie characters can truly touch our hearts and minds.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, here's a list of memorable teachers from movies.

10 Memorable Teachers in Movies

Boy Meets World Season 1
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ben Savage, William Daniels, Betsy Randle (Actors)

Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World

Over the course of the show, the well-spoken, well-read, highbrow neighbor evolves from disciplinarian to teacher to friend to mentor to father.

As the series drew to a close, it showed that despite everything Feeny had done for Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Eric, and the rest of his students, the sometimes-grumpy teacher needed them (and the job) almost as much as they needed him.

Mean Girls
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows (Actors)

Ms. Norbury from Mean Girls

Tina Fey has at least one “cool teacher” entry, which seems about right. In Mean Girls, her math lessons take a back seat to the words of wisdom she gives to a rag-tag group of high school girls.

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With what we know now, it's probably a safe bet that she hid some cheese-based snacks in one of those desk drawers.

Dead Poets Society
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke (Actors)

Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams is one of the best comedians and actors we've ever seen, and one of the main reasons is his role as John Keating in Dead Poets Society.

The movie is inspiring and tragic, and Williams' performance as a boarding-school English teacher with an innovative approach is one of his most moving.

How to Get Away With Murder Season 1
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Jack Falahee (Actors)

Annalise Keating from How to Get Away With Murder

Certainly, her approaches are different, and she's been a little consumed this semester with her unfaithful husband being accused of a crime and then “disappearing,” when defense attorney and criminal defense attorney Annalise Keating has also successfully taught five students, won a number of cases and kept her group of murdering, evidence-destroying interns out of judicial custody with strong GPAs to buckle.

a teacher standing in front of elementary students

Mr. Holland's Opus
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Olympia Dukakis (Actors)

Mr. Holland from Mr. Holland's Opus

Prepare your Kleenex. Richard Dreyfuss received the Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Glenn Holland, a beloved music teacher at an Oregon high school, in a role that appears scientifically designed to tug at audiences' heartstrings and possibly even get them to stand up and applaud.

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The film chronicles Mr. Holland's entire 30-year career, culminating in one final emotional performance before he retires (the opus in question).

The Simpsons Season 1
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer (Actors)

Edna Krabappel from The Simpsons

Mrs. Krabappel was a fan favorite from her first appearance in The Simpsons' second-ever episode. Other Springfield Elementary teachers had cool character moments, but Mrs. Krabappel was a fan favorite from her first appearance in The Simpsons' second-ever episode.

Yes, she dated on the job, drank on the job, and slapped Bart once (ok, twice), but Edna was a teacher who wasn't afraid to express herself, even if it meant burying her feelings beneath quips and sarcasm.

That school would have been dull if Edna hadn't taught the same fourth-grade class for the past 20 years.

Glee Season 1
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dianna Agron, Jessalyn Gilsig, Chris Colfer (Actors)

Will Schuester from Glee

Like Water White in Breaking Bad, Glee's Will Schuester, a.k.a. Mr. Schue, is exactly what he's talking about. He's a teacher who takes responsibility for seriously enriching his students' lives.

We also get to see what his life is like outside of the classroom (which isn't the case with every TV teacher), whether it means witnessing the dissolution of a bad marriage or desperately attempting to win the affection of the school's guidance counselor. Finally, according to Glee, every problem can be solved with the perfect song.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold (Actors)

Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Mr. Hand, Ridgemont High's ultimate disciplinarian, runs his history class on “his” time. Not only does Hand throw Spicoli out after he's late and give the rest of the class his pizza, but he also shows up at his house and force-teaches him until he's made up for all the time Spicoli wasted.

My So Called Life Season 1
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Claire Danes (Actor)

Mr. Katimski from My So-Called Life

Mr. Katimski had a lot to deal with in the single season of My So-Called Life: in only four episodes, the perpetual sweatshirt teacher made a memorable mark as he explored the anxious halls of Liberty High School in a nervous and spacey, yet sweet, way that only made his loyalty to his students even more captivating, even when they didn't fully appreciate him.

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He was one of those teachers who remained faithful in a largely unrewarding role—all for those few, heartfelt scenes of progress.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson (Actors)

Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

In the “Harry Potter” series, Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, was always a bit of a mystery. Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris), Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has a commanding, stately presence. Still, he also has a gentle and kind personality that will benefit his students.

These memorable teachers in movies demonstrate the enduring influence of mentorship and the transformative potential of education. Movie teachers inspire, motivate, and impart lasting life lessons, emphasizing the profound impact educators can have on us all.

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