Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society gave every English teacher a run for their money. Here, he sets an example not only for his group of students at an all-boys school in the late 1950s, but also for teachers everywhere: don’t be afraid to seek out new perspectives and feelings.
This monumental and unimpeachable fantasy series has spanned books, movies, and stage for over 20 years now. Of all the professors at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, none even compare to the compassion and complexity of one Remus Lupin.
There are plenty of cool teachers in this slideshow, but none are as heroic or sly or inventive as professor Indiana Jones, part-time archaeology professor, part-time adventurer.
Wes Anderson’s sophomore feature Rushmore is less focused on a teacher, but more about a student obsessed with their teacher—Miss Cross is the woman Max Fischer longs to be with, despite the fact that she’s an adult woman who wants nothing to do with him and he’s a 15-year-old on academic probation.
Richard Linklater’s films are responsible for plenty of memorable characters, but perhaps none are so unabashedly in-your-face as School of Rock’s Dewey Finn. Jack Black gives one of his best performances as a fake substitute teacher at an esteemed private school, almost like a punk rock version of Williams in Dead Poet Society.