There is an abundance of television portrayals of teachers. Here are my top 5, in no particular order:
Mr. Feeny was amazing. Though his style of teaching is not one that aligns very well with my own, I always appreciated his “big idea” thinking and how he was somehow able to tie morals and life lessons into his teaching. Perhaps this was because he was the Matthews’ neighbor, or perhaps because he was just wonderfully wise…but it worked. I was entranced by the relationship he had with Cory because it went far beyond the classroom walls; he was a real inspiration and support for his students. As a teacher, that’s the sort of impact you want to have on your small humans.
This is purely based in jealousy. Actually, it’s a little based in how AUTHENTIC this woman is, but mostly it’s jealousy. I want to have a Magic School Bus. I want to have the funds to go on field trips ALL THE TIME. I want to turn my kids into MICRO-HUMANS SO WE CAN HANG WITH ANTS AND VENTURE THROUGH THE MOST IMPOSSIBLE OF PLACES. I want a chameleon bestie. I want to have the wardrobe of this woman. The only way I can channel her insane coolness is to have equally as frizzy hair. Influence: reach this level of engagement among students daily.
*I told you I was jealous, so excuse all the caps. In a world of authentic assessments, the Magic School Bus would be so valuable. Tesla, if you are out there and reading this, make it happen.*
For perhaps the first time ever, Jessica Day is not making a list for being adorkable. I am so interested in her understanding of the social-emotional curriculum. Jess is interesting as a teacher and an administrator because she is so in touch with feelings and emotions that she brings light to a side of teachers that we are not always recognized for. So much of teaching is focusing on the social-emotional growth of students. This teacher has got it.
Sometimes as a teacher, you just have to relate to Ms. Othmar. And at those moments, you see how important it is to read your room and change your delivery of instruction. And for this reason, Ms. Othmar is influential. No teacher wants to sound like this and good teachers will change direction when they do.
I bet this one came as a surprise! Mr. Rogers is the epitome of a teacher for me. I watched “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” every single day when I was growing up. This man embodied so much of what I believe makes a good human: honesty, kindness, thoughtfulness, and gentleness. He spoke to me, through the television screen, and let me know that I was intelligent. He understood the importance of purposeful play and he delivered messages through song, dance, and puppets. This man had it all. Greatness.
That’s it! Who are your most influential television teachers?