Great Teachers from Fiction & The Lessons They Taught Us

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A good teacher leaves an impression on their students, helps them develop and inspires them to do their very best. The most inspirational examples of this come from our favourite works of fiction, literature, and media. Everyone at one point has seen a character in something I’ve read or watched and said, “I wish I had them as a teacher.” Let’s take a look at the greatest and most iconic teachers in fiction and the wisdom they imparted to us all.

Yoda (Star Wars)

Yoda is as likeable as they come. He’s memorable, he’s wise and he is beloved by everyone who knows about him. While he may not be the best at grammar, he is still able to deliver a valuable lesson to Luke Skywalker with his famous quote “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

The meaning behind these words is not that you shouldn’t try. It’s what trying implies. Trying implies that we put an effort into getting something done and give up when we reach a certain point. Doing implies that not only did you put in the effort, but you see it through to the end no matter what, whether you fail or succeed. That is the true message behind Yoda’s iconic quote.

Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

Dumbledore is undoubtably an inspirational teacher. Everyone he talks to respects him greatly and he gives the audience reason to as well. He taught his best lesson to Harry and the audience when he said: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”.

This quote teaches us a rather profound lesson. What we choose to do is more important that what we are capable of. It is your choices and the way you live your life that define you and not what you know or what you can do.

Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)

In a series of books and movies about a magical school there’s no doubt that we have more than one quote on this list. Professor McGonagall is a beloved character, but not many people know her for this motivational quote. “Nothing wrong with your work except lack of confidence”.

She delivers this quote to her students during a stressful exam period. Noting the stress and lack of self-belief among her students she shares this nugget of wisdom to tell them that hard work is only one part of success. You also need to believe in yourself and your abilities to get the most out of yourself.

Miss Honey (Matilda)

Miss Honey from Matilda might be the most inspirational teacher on this list for her dedication to her students alone. Miss Honey is the very pinnacle of what a teacher should embody and her touching quote to Matilda shows us why. When Matilda asks, “Why don’t you run away?” Miss Honey says “I've often thought about it, but I can't abandon my children. And if I couldn't teach, I'd have nothing at all.”

Miss Honey’s passion for her students and her work as a teacher is brough to the forefront with this powerful quote. Miss Honey reminds us how rewarding teaching can be. Her role in the story also shows us how important a supportive teacher can be to their students.

Ms. Norbury (Mean Girls)

Ms. Norbury is everything you want out of a teacher, she’s smart, she’s nice and she teaches her students a very important lesson about self-worth. “I know having a boyfriend might seem like the only thing important to you right now, but you don’t have to dumb yourself down in order for a guy to like you.”

This may be said to a group of teenage girls, but this quote is meaningful to everyone. It’s important to respect who you are and not to undermine who you are for others. When you are true to yourself you find people who like you for you, who like who you really are and those are the relationships that matter.

Charles Xavier (X-Men)

The last teacher we will look at it for now is Charles Xavier and he has two meaningful quotes to unpack. The first one is “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they’re lost forever”. Charles Xavier lives to fight prejudice and always sees the best in everyone. This quote is so encouraging because it reminds us that it doesn’t matter how many mistakes we make, it’s how you move on and what you learn from those mistakes that matters.

The second quote is something to remember when times are tough. When you need to take a break from something to clear your mind remember these words; “You know I believe true balance lies somewhere between rage and serenity”. The right perspective is the key to finding hidden truths. If you can look at something from more than one perspective, not just rage and not just serenity, you will often see something new, something of value.

It's amazing how much of an impact a teacher can leave on someone. These famous fictional teachers are memorable characters who taught us important lessons. You can always find inspiration by getting lost in a fantastic story. We understand what it takes to be a teacher and we give teachers the tools and insight they need to flourish. Register with us to gain access to a dedicated consultant who will help you find the next step in your journey as an educator.

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