20 Best Teachers in TV and Movies

best fictional teachers

Quinta Brunson is constantly reminded the world how important teachers are and how much of an imprint they have on your life through her hit ABC series Abbott Elementary which was named after her sixth grade teacher.

No matter whether a child is bad, a teacher’s pet, or extremely shy, every student has a favorite teacher that shapes them for the future. And at times sometimes your favorite teacher includes fictional teachers you see on the big and small screen.

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The best fictional teachers in television are the ones who don’t just entertain the audience, but also teach the characters valuable lessons. Sometimes, that might mean they’re a little tough on their students, but in the end, their students always come out of their classroom all the better for it.

Check out our favorite fictional teachers (and some based on real life figures) from TV and movies of all times.

Ms. Honey | Matilda

While Ms. Trunchball was the absolute worst teacher, Miss Honey is the best teacher despite the circumstances.



Joe Clark | Lean on Me

Crazy Joe’s methods might be extreme but there is no denying that he cared for the education and safety of his students first and foremost.



Mr Browne | Wonder

Mr. Browne is an example of how important teachers can be and how they can serve as a calm constant in a young child’s life.


Sister Mary Clarence | Sister Act 2

Sister Mary Clarence was a teacher who didn’t care to meet you at your level in order for you to level up.



Marla Hendricks | Boston Public

There was never any doubt that Ms. Hendricks was passionate about teaching, loved and advocated for her students no matter the consequences.



Lydia Grant | Fame

A teacher who believes in you and your dreams and reminds you that, “You’ve got big dreams. You want fame. Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying: in sweat.”



Melvin B. Tolson | The Great Debaters

Interestingly enough, Tolson, who was played by Denzel Washington, was based on a real professor and Debate coach. If you’ve seen the movie than you know how great of a teacher he was.


Raqueletta Moss | She’s Gotta Have It

“With love, discipline, and compassion,” Moss portrayed the importance of women Black educators.



Coach Ken Carter | Coach Carter

Played by Samuel L. Jackson in the 2005 film, Coach Carter is a basketball coach who holds his players to high academic and personal standards, inspiring them to be their best selves both on and off the court. He is the best example that teaching doesn’t begin and end in the classroom



Walter Oaks | A Different World

Oaks had the jokes. Walter Oaks related to his students on a personal level. He was their friend as well as their mentor.



Vivian Banks | The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

We didn’t often see Mrs. Banks in her teaching element but when we did, especially during Black History month, she taught her students, her children, and the audience a thing or two about what the importance of Black History.


Steve Hightower | The Steve Harvey Show

Listen, Hightower may talk a lot of shit and tell you how terrible you are but he’s never going to give up on you, no matter how hopeless you may be.



All The Teachers | Abbott Elementary

The whole cast of teachers on Abbott Elementary reign supreme on this list. They may not always agree with one another but they agree that nothing comes before the wellbeing on their students.



Dr. Jordan | A Different World

A Different World had many great Black educators, I mean it is based around an HBCU so it is expected. However, Dr. Jordan’s character was one of the most memorable because of the HIV episode. It showed that when you have a teacher who is fearless, they encourage you to be fearless as well.



Mr. Cooper | Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper

Mr. Cooper was everyone’s favorite teacher/basketball coach. They knew he had the jokes but also he was there for sound advice.



Colonel Taylor | A Different World

Dr. War knew how real the real world was and he did his part to prepare his students for it by holding them to a high standard that was coveted in love and support.



Professor Annalise Keating | How to Get Away With Murder

Keating may have been the villain in many stories but she never let her students be their own demise. They started all the bad stuff and she cleaned up after them even at the sake of her own health. And somehow even in the midst of all the trouble her students and she are entangled in, she still manages to teach them the law.



Mr. Garvey | Key & Peele

Full of self-importance, substitute teacher Mr. Garvey isn’t taking anything off anybody – he’s been teaching in urban schools for 20 years, and he thinks he knows all the tricks kids will come up with to get out of class – even if he can’t pronounce anyone’s name correctly.



Whitley Gilbert-Wayne | A Different World

Gilbert-Wayne did a lot wrong but what she did right was instill Black history in her students.



Dwayne Wayne | A Different World

Dwayne Wayne showed the progression of being a teacher. While he definitely took his job too seriously at times, he also learned that the best way to motivate your students to be the best is to connect with them outside of books and lesson plans.

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