More teacher appreciation: From Finn to Fonzarelli
Here's a look at our favorite top 10 fictional teachers
We’ve all been influenced by teachers at some point, and their work inspires students to dream. Much like the work of Dewey Finn. Once “School of Rock” came out, who didn’t want to find Jack Black at the head of the class for at least a few days?
He’s not the only made-up educator that inspired us. Here are the top 10 fictional teachers, according to me:
Dewey Finn, “School of Rock.”
Any teacher that comes to class with a Gibson SG automatically makes the list.
Rupert Giles, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Portrayed by Anthony Head, Giles worked at Sunnydale High School, but more importantly served as a father figure for Buffy and the Scoobies. Head comes from a musical family, apparently, because he’s the brother of Murray Head, known for (among other things) singing the 80s hit, “One Night in Bangkok.” Here’s Giles showing off the family trade.
Glenn Holland, “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”
(I have a kid who is getting ready to go to college to study to be a music teacher, so maybe I’m biased,) Mr. Holland made for a nice, idealized template.
Remus Lupin, “Harry Potter.”
Could Albus Dumbledore have made the list? Probably, but he’s a little stodgy. Lupin’s the one you want at the front of a lecture hall.
Edna Krabappel, “The Simpsons.”
Marcia Wallace is missed.
Roland Pryzbylewski, “The Wire.”
Season 4 of “The Wire” is one of the best seasons of TV, period, and much of it centers around Pryz and the kids in his class.
Arthur Fonzarelli, “Happy Days.”
Sure he was the coolest guy in Milwaukee, but as the series wore on, Fonzie became the coolest auto mechanic teacher at Jefferson High.
Gabe Kotter, “Welcome Back Kotter.”
Here’s where I reveal my age. Epstein, Barbarino and the Sweathogs were hysterical to the 8-year-old me, and Mr. Kotter was their understanding, wisecracking leader.
Indiana Jones, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
I’m guessing he had a substitute quite often, but when he was there, the lectures were likely rather interesting.
Yoda, “The Empire Strikes Back.”
His facilities were lacking, but he made the most with what he had on-hand.
Bonus: Who I would not want as a teacher.
Severus Snape, “Harry Potter.”
Redeemed, brave – sure. I just wouldn’t want to sit through everything leading up to it.
Walter White, “Breaking Bad.”
School teachers should probably not cook in an RV as a side-hustle.
Maester Luwin, “Game of Thrones.”
Knowledgeable and wise, yes, but most people connected to him didn’t seem to come to a good end.
Mr. Hand, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
Ray Walston was the best, but Mr. Hand was a little intense.
Mr. Garvey, “Key & Peele.”
Insubordinate and churlish.
(Slight language warning.)