Teachers are a huge influence on people’s lives. As activist Malala Yousafzai once said, ‘one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world’. In the world of entertainment, from movies to books, we fell in love with characters who are representative of what real-life teachers are – understanding, motivational, and dedicated.
As the end of the school year is almost here, we’re celebrating the Ireland’s amazing teachers all this month and have rounded-up our top four fictional teachers.
1. Yoda – Star Wars
Good teachers push their students to reach their highest potential. Yoda challenges a young Luke Skywalker to rise to the challenge of becoming a powerful Jedi. And when Luke becomes frustrated at his Force-wielding training (‘You want the impossible!’), Yoda delivers one of the most memorable lines from a galaxy far, far away: ‘Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say? You must unlearn what you have learned…Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.’ Like any good teacher, he believes Luke can achieve anything he sets his mind to.
2. Professor Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter Series
He’s the most powerful wizard in the world and headmaster of the magical Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and despite his busy schedule, Albus Dumbledore always makes time to get to know his students, offer them advice, and even help them in their time of need. He taught us valuable life lessons like ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends’, and ‘It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities’. He is a great source of comfort and wisdom in times when students have felt truly lost.
3. Professor Charles Xavier - X-Men Series
Founder, principal and teacher, Charles Xavier (more commonly known as Professor X) started his School for Gifted Youngsters as a safe haven to train young mutants in controlling their powers and help foster a friendly human-mutant relationship. He splits his time between training the X-Men and teaching his students about their powers and the responsibilities that come with them. He delivered powerful lines like ‘Any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for’ and like any teacher, he wants his students to live their best lives and works hard to teach them how to be themselves in a world that’s struggling to understand what they are.
4. Dewey Finn – School of Rock
He gets a job as a substitute teacher for Horace Green Prep School by pretending to be his friend Ned Schneebly (he needs the money for rent) and although his initial motivation for taking the role is questionable, the ex-rock musician cares deeply about his students – he pushes them to be creative and chase their musical aspirations (even when they frustrate him with their lack of knowledge on rock ‘n’ roll greats like Led Zeppelin, Motorhead and AC/DC). He makes each student feel special and encourages them to be the greatest version of themselves.
Who’s your favourite fictional teacher?