Celebrating World Teachers Day With 18 Of The Best Teachers In Movie History

And don’t think we forgot about real-life teachers on World Teachers Day! See what advice teachers have given our readers over the years.

Celebrating World Teachers Day With 18 Of The Best Teachers In Movie History
Dangerous Minds, 1995 [Photo: Linda Chen, Hollywood Pictures Archive/Walt Disney]

Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”


If the Father of Relativity and consummate genius can give a shout-out to the power of teachers, you should too–especially today on World Teachers Day.

From kindergarten to graduate school, teachers are in the unique position to not only impart knowledge of the subject at hand, but to inspire us beyond the classroom. And where an inspirational story goes, Hollywood is sure to follow.

Movies about teachers breaking through to troubled students or being the rock in an otherwise unstable life have jerked many a tear from audiences over the decades. So we’ve compiled a list of some of our most favorite educators in film and the pivotal scenes that should clinch any Best Teacher of the Year award.

And don’t think we forgot about teachers IRL! Scroll to the bottom for the best advice you said a teacher has given you.

Blu Rain, Precious

LouAnne Johnson, Dangerous Minds

Dr. Joshua Larabee, Akeelah and the Bee

Katherine Watson, Mona Lisa Smile

Miss Dodger, Phoebe in Wonderland

John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Mark Thackeray, To Sir, With Love

Miss Honey, Matilda

Mr. Hand, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Joe Clark, Lean on Me

Glenn Holland, Mr. Holland’s Opus

Ken Carter, Coach Carter

Arthur Hundert, The Emperor’s Club

Ms. Norbury, Mean Girls

Melvin B. Tolson, The Great Debaters

Jaime Escalante, Stand and Deliver

Arthur Chipping, Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Dewey Finn, The School of Rock

What’s the best advice a teacher has given you?

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.