25 best TV teachers and professors ranked

Who was your favorite teacher? I ask that, and have no doubt that a special educator from your past instantly pops to mind. I could also easily ask, who was your least favorite teacher? Weirdest teacher? That one teacher who seemed to live at the school with no social life whatsoever?

And, I bet if I asked who the most memorable educator from television is, someone will come to mind as well. Some of these fictional teachers seem like they would have been really neat to have as our own – like zany Ms. Day (“New Girl”) or the cool Mr. Kotter (“Welcome Back, Kotter”) or Mr. Moore (“Head of the Class”), the kind but firm Mr. Feeny (“Boy Meets World”), or the challenging Mr. Schue (“Glee”). Or, ones like Professor Kingsfield (“The Paper Chase”) – who would make you shake in your shoes, but you wanted his class because he was the best. Then there’s the really funny television teachers that have you wondering how they stay employed – like the cranky Ms. Krabappel (“The Simpsons”) or the incompetent Mr. Solomon. And hopefully nobody had a teacher that took a crooked path like Mr. White (“Breaking Bad”).

In what seems like an entire decade but in reality has only been a few weeks, parents have had to become teachers to their children, and teachers have had to find new and creative ways to connect with their students and to continue to provide an education from a distance. One lesson COVID-19 has ingrained is how invaluable our educators are. With our list of favorite TV teachers, I hope it brings back a fond memory of one of your own educators, and a smile for a favorite TV one. And, if you’re reading this, remember that you have a teacher to thank for that.

Our National Teacher’s Day photo gallery includes a combination of the best teachers, professors and school coaches. As with our other professional galleries, we are only selecting one teacher from each show.