Back-to-school with memorable TV teachers
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.
Miss Crabtree: Our Gang
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?
Mr. Kotter: Welcome Back, Kotter
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!
Mr. Moore: Head of the Class
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.
Mr. Feeny: Boy Meets World
I was out of school by the time Boy Meets World came along, but no list of TV teachers would be complete without 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.
Mrs. Krabappel: The Simpsons
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!
To read more from Todd, check out his website, Forgotten Films.
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