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Teacher’s Day: Remember The Most Iconic Educator Characters in Cinema

A teacher’s mission goes so much more far than educating. With them, we learn how to deal with everyday situations, life problems and many other things that Geography and Math books aren’t able to teach us. Many of these classroom heroes were representes on the big screen in unforgettable characters.

So, on this special day, to celebrate the relevance of these professionals in our lives, Her Campus Cásper Líbero prepared a list of some of the teachers who made and marked history in cinema! Hey, what are you waiting for? Prepare the notebook, the memory and the heart to remember some incredible professors: the buzzer will already ring!

Musician teachers

  • Professor Dewey Finn, from “School of Rock” (2003)

Interpreted by Jack Black, Dewey Finn is a newly fired musician from his band. Because of the debts he has to pay and because he has nothing else to do, he agrees to work as a substitute teacher at a private school that takes discipline very seriously. After witnessing the musical talent of his students, the teacher forms a band with the fifth grade learners of elementary school, hoping to win the Battle of the Bands and get the money to pay what he owes. This wave makes his pupils see Dewey as a great inspiration for their dreams.

  • Professor Terence Fletcher, from “Whiplash” (2014)

Have you ever imagined having a teacher who loves jazz and is a conductor of the orchestra of the best school in the United States, like the J. K. Simmons’ character, Terence Fletcher? For a musician it would be a dream, wouldn’t it? But what few know and the film surprises us is that this teacher is not the nicest there. The young Andrew (interpreted by Miles Teller) dreams of being the best drummer of his generation and making history as his inspiration Buddy Rich did. The young man gets the attention of the teacher, who calls him to be part of the orchestra. However, what was supposed to be a dream turns into his obsession, as he lives daily with the abusive conductor that makes Buddy reach a new level as a musician, even if it puts his relationship and his physical and mental health at risk.

Despite being a bit of a heavy film, it is worth watching, since it makes us have contact with the importance of having a good conductor to be a good musician.

Teacher Of Miracles

  • Professor Anne Sullivan, from “The Miracle Worker” (1962)​

This is certainly one of those films that teach us great life lessons! Anne Sullivan (interpreted by Anne Bancrof) is a teacher who does not see very well and receives the difficult mission of educating a girl who, in addition to being blind, does not speak or listen. 

In order to teach the kid to understand and adapt to the things that surround her, Anne goes against the girl’s parents, taking some more stringent measures, as they have always spoiled her and never taught her or treated her like any child. And this is Anne Sullivan’s most difficult task. Oh, and the most incredible fact of all is that this movie was inspired by a true story: it is a biography of Hellen Keller, the girl Anne taught.

Fight Teacher

  • Professor Rocky Balboa, from “Creed” (2015)​

In the world of fight we also have outstanding teachers who deserve to be remembered”!

In this film, the great boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is one of the greatest fighters and inspirers of this sport. So much that he calls the attention of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his best friend Apollo, who died before the young man was even born. Then, Rocky becomes the teacher and mentor of the boy, who dreams to follow his father’s steps. However, this is not the only battle in history. While Creed fights for his glory, Balboa fights for his life against cancer.

Method Teachers

  • Professor Erin Gruwell, from “Freedom Writers” (2007)

​In a poor neighborhood school, corrupted by violence, prejudice and aggression: This is the place where Erin Gruwell (interpreted by Hilary Swank), a young and idealistic teacher, is called to teach. 

Erin’s class is not willing to learn, they are rebels and there is constant racial tension between them. To make them learn and talk more about their life difficulties, the professor looks for different teaching methods to help them become more confident people with themselves and be more respectful with others. This is another movie based on a true story!

  • Professor John Keating, from “Dead Poets Society” (1990)​

“Oh Captain! My Captain!” Who never heard that famous phrase intoned by Robin Williams’ character in Dead Poets Society? 

In the 1950s, a former student, John Keating, of the Welton Academy preparatory school became the new professor of literature. In his profession, John uses different methods to encourage his students to think for themselves, to reflect about life and to show that the most important of all for our lives is already in our hearts. However, this way of teaching students goes against orthodox school orders, especially when John talks to his students about the Dead Poets Society.


For sure all these films bring incredible teachers. And on this teachers’ day, there’s nothing better than honoring them all watching this audiovisual productions! In addition, here is a bonus of some other films with outstanding teachers that are worth watching too!


  1. Master Yoda, from “Star Wars
  2. Professor Alvo Dumbledore, from “Harry Potter“‘s saga
  3. Professor Xavier, from “X-Men” (2000)
  4. Professor Elizabeth Halsey, from “Bad Teacher” (2011)
  5. Director Richard Vernom, from “The Breakfast Club” (1985)


The article above was edited by Helena Cardoso.

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    Laura Lopes

    Casper Libero '21

    I’m a journalism student. I love read and write texts about everything! I like adventures and challenges. I’m always learning with life!
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