Here at Conventional Relations, we have both been fortunate to have some AMAZING teachers over the years. Without teachers, we would not be writing this article and you would not be able to read it. Our leading lady and H.B.I.C., Kinsey is even working on her master’s degree in teaching. (Hail State, y’all!)
Teachers are not appreciated nearly enough in American society. They are overworked, underpaid, and constantly belittled. But, one teacher can change an entire student’s life and perspective.
We have compiled a list of our favorite TV* teachers! (*This is just for television. Movie teachers will be saved for a later post. Don’t @ us because we did not include Minerva McGonagall.)
Tell us about your favorite teacher, real or TV in the comments!
Max Medina – Gilmore Girls
A: Chilton might not have been the most fun school to attend, but Max Medina always did his best to keep his students interested. He was also very understanding such as when he offered to let Rory do extra credit when she missed her Shakespeare test. Was he out of line by dating the parent of one of his students? Maybe. But I don’t feel like it ever affected the way he treated Rory as a student. Also, they should have fit in a cameo of him in A Year in the Life. It’s unfair that they shoehorned in a fake Chad Michael Murray and couldn’t find room for Max Medina. Just saying.
K: I agree with Andrew on having Max make a cameo in A Year in the Life. IF THEY CAN BRING BACK DIGGER, WHO I HATE, THEY CAN BRING BACK MAX. Ok. Rant over. But in all seriousness, Max Medina was a very knowledgeable in English literature. As a romantic gesture, he gave Lorelai his most valued copy of Marcel Proust’s “Swann’s Way.” He also helps Rory in school when she needed it, including doing the interview with her for the Franklin newspaper after he and her mom broke up. Super classy!
Miss Slovak – Hey Arnold!:
K: While she was only in a few episodes, Ms. Slovak from Hey Arnold! was a gem. She has delivered a few classic lines and even helped lead a teacher’s strike for school funding. She also had a profound impact on Pigeon Man. Rumor has it she is now enjoying her life as a professional golfer.
Mr. Simmons – Hey Arnold!:
K: Mr. Simmons is a true Nickelodeon hero. The network deserves all of the accolades for making Mr. Simmons openly gay. They did not try to hide the fact he was dating a man. They never made fun of him for it. It was normal. I will not turn this into a political rant, but damn it, I applaud Craig Bartlett and Nickelodeon for this. As far as his teaching, he genuinely loved his students and wanted the best for them, which is a basic essential when choosing the teaching field. Mr. Simmons is bae.
Denzel Crocker – The Fairly OddParents
K: Crocker is sorely misunderstood. While he may not be the best teacher, he was obsessed with proving fairies were real. He was right! He followed his intuition where it led him, even if the outside world did not understand. I feel that, Crocker. Keep fighting the good fight.
Mrs. Puff – Spongebob Squarepants
K: Mrs. Puff is passionate about teaching people to drive. Spongebob has been in her class since she opened the Boating School, yet he has not been able to pass. While Mrs. Puff has had numerous run-ins with the police force and a questionable past, she still has not given up on Spongebob, which is what makes her a strong teacher.
Mrs. Alice Hayfer – Drake & Josh
A: Mrs. Hayfer was sort of the anti-Helen in that she hated Drake and loved Josh. She might be viewed as too strict for this reason, but if you think about it, her feelings toward Drake weren’t totally unjustified. After all, Drake was a very irresponsible teenager. Would you want someone like Drake dating your daughter? Mrs. Hayfer also deserves credit for having the balls to give Mindy Crenshaw a B. She also had a Rottweiler named Tiberius! Mrs. Hayfer wasn’t so bad after all. She just wanted people to laugh at her jokes during class.
K: I loved Ms. Hayfer’s jokes and one-liners! Mrs. Hayfer was definitely one of the ballsiest woman on Nick, considering she gave Mindy a B. But in true teacher form, Mindy’s B was earned and not a handout, which makes Mrs. Hayfer a quality teacher. “I hate you, Drake.” GOAT!!!
Mr. Feeny – Boy Meets World
K: Perhaps the most influential teacher on this list is Mr. Feeny. He was known for his inspirational quotes, but he was also a staunch supporter of his students. He defended Cory and Topanga being young and in love. He constantly pestered Eric about college. And he always encouraged Shawn to rise above his situations. But he would also call folks out when they were being morons. If we are lucky, we have all had a teacher like Mr. Feeny. My favorite quote of his: “Is that the stupid idea train coming around the bend?!” Only Mr. Feeny could get away with that.
Ms. Frizzle – Magic School Bus
K: Ms. Frizzle is a boss ass bitch. She cares about her students and cares about the subject matter she teaches. SHE EVEN WEARS DRESSES THAT CORRELATE TO HER LESSONS. She also has words of wisdom that only the quirkiest of teachers can provide, such as “Seat belts, everyone!,” “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy,” “Never say never!,” and my personal favorite “Come on bus, do your stuff!” Truly inspirational.
Jess Day – New Girl
K:“Who’s that girl? IT’S JESS!” While her career as a teacher is seldom mentioned on the show, Jess can be seen in a classroom or dating her student’s parents. She truly embodies the spirit of a teacher and goes above and beyond to make sure her students have fun. Like in the season 3 episode “The Trouble With Dumplings,” Jess wants to take her students to the Pacific Ocean, but does not have the funding. She uses the delivery van of the local Chinese restaurant to load up her class and get them to the ocean. Above and beyond.
Mr. Clarke – Stranger Things
A: Mr. Clarke is the unsung hero of Stranger Things. Although never directly partaking in the action of the show, he has always shown support and care for his students. He may be the only teacher on this list who would ignore his movie date to teach his students how to build a sensory deprivation tank over the phone. When Mike, Lucas, and Dustin thought Will had passed away, Mr. Clarke helped console them by leaving them access to the AV room to use his super powerful Heathkit ham radio. He even entertained their questions of travelling to different dimensions during Will’s funeral. When you throw in that wonderfully 1980s mustache he has, there’s no denying Mr. Clarke is a solid teacher and genuinely good human being.
Ms. Appleby – Power Rangers
A: Ms. Appleby was a teacher who seemed to have a good balance between being strict and fair. She wasn’t used very regularly on the show, but she still maintained a strong presence throughout the first few years of Power Rangers. Although it was never really clear which subject she actually taught, she still succeeded at imparting wisdom into the shows characters. The fact that Tommy Oliver probably missed tons of class while saving the world and still graduated on time and somehow later became a paleontologist should be a testament to Ms Appleby’s teaching!
Coach Armstrong – Degrassi
A: I tried to think back to all of the teachers who have come and gone throughout the years in Degrassi, but none of them seemed quite worthy enough to be on this list due to various antics like having affairs with principals and dating students. Then I remembered Coach Armstrong. Throughout his SEVENTEEN seasons on Degrassi, Coach Armstrong may have been involved in a few bouts of drama like the false rumors spread about he and Liberty when he was helping her with her Dyscalculia disorder or KC keying his car, but he was never the catalyst of any drama that occurred. By all accounts he seemed like a fair teacher who wanted to see his students succeed. It’s also worth noting that somehow he coached practically every sport at the school including soccer, basketball, floor hockey, football, and wrestling. Was this most likely because the show didn’t feel like hiring another actor? Probably, but it shouldn’t undermine Coach Armstrong’s dedication!
Principal Belding – Saved by the Bell
A: I know this list is for teachers, but I felt obligated to throw in the Big Bopper Belding. He was truly the heart of the show and acted as a father figure and friend to many of the characters. Whenever trouble started to occur, he was always one “Hey, hey, hey! What is going on here?” away from stepping in to intervene. Although he may have crossed the line between being a principal and being a friend quite a few times, he always acted out of kindness. He impacted his students so much that Zack and Kelly even invited him to their wedding! Mr. Belding always embodied the sheer cheesiness that was Saved by the Bell.