5 Fictional Movie Teachers We Wish We Had

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 13th, 2012 at 2:14 pm, This is a list post.

5 Fictional Movie Teachers We Wish We Had

5 movie teachers we wish we hadWith Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz hoped to add to the list of bizarre onscreen teachers we've seen over the past few decades. While it's fun to see bad people hold positions typically reserved for good-natured role models, we prefer characters whose influence is a little more positive. So while Diaz is in Home Room smashing kids' faces in with rubber balls, we will be in Room 101 with our favorite movie teachers, whose classes we wish we could enroll in next fall.Everybody has a different take on what makes a great teacher. Some want a lazy, no-work goofball and others want a motivated and passionate instructor. We've got a little of each in the following list of five teachers we wish we'd had. There's even a bonus tutor for your off-campus study.NOTE: The following are our five favorites, and as the title would suggest, they are all fictional, rather than coming from movies based on real-life teachers (hence why you won't find Lean on Me on here).

5. Dewey Finn - School of Rock

Dewey Finn School of Rock teaching

The biggest wild card in grade school has always been the music teacher. Some say it is the gym teacher or even the math instructor, but few courses allow such a wide-ranging classroom setting as music. If you are unlucky (like I was in high school), your music teacher will bore you to tears with history and technical details. But if you get Dewey Finn, great memories will fill your childhood ridiculously fast.Finn indirectly earned his way onto this list. He scammed his way into the classroom and then took advantage of his new students for personal gain. But he also quickly realized that children can be just as inspiring as their instructors and he became one of the kids. Not many teachers have the audacity to get off their educated high horse and hang out with the students. But if you look at this list, the ones that do find a way to be a part of a child's life, not just their childhood.

4. Detective John Kimble - Kindergarten Cop

John Kimble Kindergarten Cop teaching

While some of the other teachers on this list seem like the kind of people you want to know outside of school, John Kimble isn't the nicest instructor you'll ever have. But unlike some other memorable movie substitute teachers on the mean side (like Jonathan Shale of The Substitute), this Kindergarten teacher will protect you under any circumstance. He is a tough guy on the outside, but on the inside he'll warm up to you like a thermometer to a light bulb.If I were in Kindergarten and I had my pick of teacher, the easy pick is John Kimble. He is like a walking jungle gym and has a hilarious accent. On top of it all, his temper is something to laugh at once you get used to it. Most importantly, Kimble has a knack for problem-solving. Anybody who can get a ragtag group of youngsters in his inaugural class to settle down clearly has the ability to teach anybody.

3. Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter

Albus Dumbledore teaching

Although Dumbledore never really teaches a course on camera at Hogwarts, he is easily the best teacher there. The campus houses some fantastic motivators, but Dumbledore finds a way to hire the best of the best. Of course, he has had a lapse in judgment every once in a while - nobody is perfect - but he has assembled one of the best teaching corps in education today.We've all heard the personal details of Dumbledore, but it goes to show you the maturity of his students and the powerful influence of his instruction. If you are lucky enough to get an invitation to study at Hogwarts, you'll walk away with more than a diploma. Although I'm not sure the colleges looking at your application will know about Hogwarts, you will be set for a lifetime of magic and wonder. There are not many graduates who can say that.

2. Charles Xavier (Professor X) - X-Men

Charles Xavier Professor X teacher

As far as positive influences go, Professor X is one of the best. He will teach you to utilize every function your body can allow - whether that is a superpower that came to fruition during your adolescence, or simply a misguided sense of place in this crazy world. Professor X is a motivator - and the best at it. In addition to his positive outlook on life, he has one cool school. Although you'll need to move out of your home, you'll be staying at a mansion that has a secret laboratory underground and a hidden fighter jet under the basketball court.If there is one problem with studying under Professor X it is his plethora of enemies. He always seems to find a way to get into trouble and those around him (namely his students) are left to defend the wheelchair-bound professor, even though he houses one of the most powerful abilities in the mutant world - he can read your mind. This also poses a problem if you ever plan on cheating on one of his likely impossible exams. And if he should ever die, you will have to face the unbearable pain of listening to Storm teach a class, using awful puns and horrid one-liners.

1. Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. - Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones teachingImagine the Fall Semester is about to begin. You look at your curriculum and three days a week you have to take Archaeology. Most students would cringe and head to class ready for a nap. But then class begins, and if you are a female, you sit in a wooden desk only feet from the dreamiest man you've ever seen. You may even write "I Love You" on your eyelids. If you are a male student, you are only a few yards from the most adventurous and well-traveled hero of all time.Few teachers have such an exciting alter-ego. Many of them have intriguing side hobbies or may even surprise you with a great story or two. But wouldn't it be nice to find out your teacher has thwarted a Nazi plan to rule the world with unspeakable evil, or that he has outrun massive boulders and poison darts? It goes without saying, Dr. Jones is the coolest professor on the planet. And that is saying a lot, considering the previous teacher on our list has actual superpowers.


Bonus Tutor! (and conclusion)

Yoda teachingWhile we briefly saw Yoda teaching younglings how to use the Force during the Star Wars prequels, his greatest moment as a teacher came in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda guides the shipwrecked and distraught Luke Skywalker onto a path that eventually lead to iconic status in Jedi lore. His humor, discipline, wide range of knowledge and distraction-free environment allowed Skywalker the perfect opportunity to truly focus his skills and begin his road to destiny.As far as movie characters go, Yoda is one of the all-time greats. He speaks in brilliant backwards prose, fits on your back like a bookbag and has hundreds of years of life experience. There is nothing about Yoda that a human being would not benefit from after just a few tutoring sessions.While our list may not be the same as your list, there are plenty of great movie teachers that inspire students and make the classroom enjoyable. From Veronica Vaughn to John Keating, the names are aplenty, and we want you to continue the conversation below by sharing your favorites. 
TAGS: bad teacher, Indiana Jones, star wars, x-men


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  1. Hey now!!??What??Are you guys forgetting about the most Awesome Science teacher EVER???…WHAT ABOUT Dr. Bunsen Honeydew from the Muppets as your Science Teacher!!??AWESOMENESS INDEED!

    • Of course he can’t be in the list. Then where would Jack Black’s awful character go? *MEGA SARCASM*

  2. hello i am friend barkat ali thank you i am happy you i nat

  3. You forgot Debbie Rochon as the lesbian gym teacher in Bikini Bloodbath

  4. Boobs

  5. No Walter White? Are you kidding me?

  6. Well, I suppose The Doctor is also an amazing teacher… Even if most of his lessons exist outside a classroom and things are learned on the go rather than taught… But in my opinion he’s a brilliant mind and teacher.

    • Yes! The Doctor would be a wonderful teacher!

      PS: it’s ironic that your name is Rose (;

  7. While I wholeheartedly agree on the #1 Teacher and the Bonus Tutor, as the very Best of the Best, I think you guys left out Trevor Anderson from “Journey to the Center of the Earth”… He would be MY pick for Geology Professor!! <3 <3

  8. Dr. Jones would be sweet, because it seems like he’s not there 3 out of the 4 weeks of the month.

  9. I wish cameron diaz was my school class teacher

    • hey me too i like this lady and the movie too

  10. Indiana Jones?! HORRIBLE teacher. First off, I am the BIGGEST Indiana Jones fan of all time (although I wish I could erase my memory of that crappy Crystal Skull P.O.S.). Anyways, I LOVE Indy, but would never want to have him as a teacher. He assigns a sh$t load of reading, requires lengthy term papers then sneaks out of his office window to avoid grading them, offers boring textbook lectures that are nothing like his adventures (e.g. X almost certainly never marks the spot), and most importantly, HE DISAPPEARS FOR HALF THE SEMESTER to fight the forces of evil without at least offering internship opportunities to “tag along.”

    • he is good but the last film cowboys and aliens is not good at all

  11. How can u forget phil from the hangover?!

  12. Can’t believe their’s no Doc Connor’s from Spiderman! he would be a great teacher! Specially if your changing into a killer croc or a man spider hehe

  13. how about mr. holland in “mr holland’s opus”. great story line, good acting too.

    • Real person.

      • Or not. Huh. Coulda sworn. IGNORE ME!

  14. John Keating from Dead Poet’s Society?

  15. What about Mr. Freddy Shoop? Summer School (1987)…

    • That’s what I came to say. Mark Harmon was amazing in Summer School. And he learned as he went, which to me is the mark of a great teacher.


    • Now, what movie was she in when she was a teacher, or did you just say that because she is sexually attractive?

  17. Tom Berenger as The Substitute (1996)

  18. I’m sure this has already been posted but I’m too lazy to sort through all comments but what about the stripper teacher from Varsity Blues? I would definetly pay attention to her!

  19. If you’re from my generation you probably had a teacher like my father, who did thwart “a Nazi plan to rule the world with unspeakable evil” – along with millions of other brave men and women who served in World War II. Which leads me to Captain John H. Miller of “Saving Private Ryan”, an English teacher before the war. We never see him in the classroom, but he’d have to be one of the greats.
    Let’s not forget Laura Roslin, either.
    I’m not sure if it was mentioned, but The Doctor was briefly a teacher in a couple of episodes (“Physics. Phys-ics. PHYSICS!”, etc.).
    And who could leave out Ms. Frizzle?

  20. yeah……. I’ll take Cameron Diaz!

  21. What a rubbish list. The best movie teachers are the ones that actually taught something:

    Kevin Kline: The Emperor’s Club
    Edward James Omos: Stand and Deliver
    Robin Williams: dead poets society
    Sidney Poitier: To Sir with Love
    Robert Donat: Goodbye Mr. Chips

    Honorable Mentions:
    Richard Dreyfuss: Mr. Holland’s Opus
    Hillary Swank: freedom writers

    • If you read at the beginning, “they are all fictional, rather than coming from movies based on real-life teachers”. That lets out at least four of the teachers on your list. This is a fantasy list. That said, I would add two more “real-life” but fictional teachers to my list above: Mr. Dadier (Glenn Ford) from “The Blackboard Jungle”, and Ken Howard’s basketball coach (and phys ed teacher?) from “The White Shadow”.

      • Nonsense. only Hillary Swanks’ and Olmos’ characters are from real teachers. the rest are fictional. Which yields the 5 characters. The rest I threw in be3cause the movies are excellent portrayals of what a teacher can do to shape people’s lives. the posted list given is pathetic in that regard.

        • Mr. Chipping of “Goodbye, Mister Chips” was heavily based on a real master at the Leys School whose nickname was “Chops”.
          “To Sir, With Love” was based on a novel by E. R. Braithwaite, who fictionalized his experiences as an immigrant from British Guiana teaching in a tough part of London.
          That means they are based on real-life teachers.

  22. Famke Janssen in THE FACULTY—that deserves an honorable mention at least. While everyone else turns into murderous jerks, she (spoiler alert) turns into a hot nympho.

  23. I clicked through the whole thing looking for Mrs Honey from Matilda. Seriously? No Honey? wut

  24. MR. Hand played by Ray Walston in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

  25. what… no one said Mr. Cotter?

    • “Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh…Mr. Kotter.”

  26. How did we all manage to leave out that distinguished scholar, Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff, president of Huxley University, as played by the inimitable Groucho Marx?
    And definitely fictional.

  27. where is Michel Pfeifer as a techer in gangsta paradise

  28. Duuuh Ms Friz from The Magic Schoolbus? I didn’t read through all 163 comments but I hope someone mentioned her. I’m not even going to explain her awesomeness, she speaks for herself!