TV's most memorable teachers just in time for back to school
Technically, Our Gang (or The Little Rascals) was not a TV show, but a series of theatrical short subjects. But since most of us discovered them on TV as kids, I'll let it slide. Miss Crabtree was the pretty blonde schoolmarm played by June Marlowe in a handful of the classic comedies. She always had a smile on her face but was no pushover. Who can blame little Jackie Cooper for having a schoolboy crush on her?
It would take a special sort of teacher to get through to the remedial students—affectionately known as the "Sweathogs"—at Brooklyn's James Buchanan High School. But if anyone could, it was a former Sweathog himself! Gabe Kaplan's Mr. Kotter seemed to spend more time telling jokes about his long-lost uncles than actually teaching, but the students seemed to like him. I would rather have been in his class than down the hall in Miss Fishbeck's, that's for sure. You don't agree? Well, up your nose with a rubber hose!
Struggling-actor-turned-teacher Charlie Moore, played by Howard Hesseman, had the opposite situation that Mr. Kotter did. His students at New York's Monroe High School were all members of the Individualized Honors Program—in other words, they were all smarter than he was. Well, at least in terms of book smarts. They had many life lessons yet to learn and Mr. Moore was more than up to the task.
No list of TV teachers would be complete without Boy Meets World's Mr. Feeny, played by William Daniels. Talk about being invested in his students' lives! I mean, little did Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) suspect that when he landed Feeny for his sixth-grade teacher, the guy would still be giving him advice through college and marriage and beyond! But hey, we should all have teachers so committed.
Edna Krabappel, voiced by Marcia Wallace, has had Bart Simpson in her fourth-grade class at Springfield Elementary for 24 years now. If that doesn't deserve some sort of teaching award, nothing does!
Who wouldn't love a teacher like Glee’s Mr. Schue? The quirky and nerdy Glee club teacher at William McKinley High School is an important part of each of his student's lives as they navigate the murky waters of fitting in at school while trying to stand out as talented singers. As if he wasn’t already endearing enough, Schuester, played by Matthew Morrison, also has singing chops of his own and has serenaded his students with everything from rock power ballads to sweet melodies.
Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami Taylor, were more than just the football coach and the guidance counselor at Dillon High School; they were the heart and soul of their community. The couple’s sweet chemistry and their emotional ploys to help their students achieve more earned our respect and love. It also earned Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, who played the husband and wife duo on Friday Night Lights, Emmy nominations.
Mr. Fitz from Pretty Little Liars, played by Ian Harding, has to be one of the hunkiest high school teachers in television history. The English teacher, who has successfully dated one of his students, is basically an attractive bookworm with a devious past. That makes him pretty memorable in our book.
BACK TO SLIDE
Sorry to break this to you, kiddos, but the summer is over. It's back-to-school time! I know, no kid likes going back to school, but most of us would admit that there were some teachers we were glad to see year after year. And of course, some of our favorite teachers are those from classic television. Imagine what school would've been like if you'd had some of these folks filling out your report card each semester. Check out the gallery above from Do You Remember for the full run-down!