The profession of teaching runs in my family lineage.

Paternally, I had an aunt that was a guidance counselor. Her husband was on the school board for my county. I had another uncle who sold textbooks to schools all over the state. My dad worked in the steel mill but my guess is that if he’d had a big college major choice “do-over” he’d have been a basketball coach for either middle school or high school.

Maternally, my mom and her two sisters were all school teachers. My cousin Jody is a math professor.

And, like many of you, I had my favorite coach and/or teacher be a significant influence in our lives. Might’ve been as great as being a father figure or mother figure you never had, or might’ve been as minor as just saying a nice thing you’ve always remembered.

My job might not be as formal as a public school educator, but it does afford a pretty high-profile teaching role as a major component. Every week I have numerous opportunities to teach in large group & small group settings, and sometimes, in one-on-one ways.

So, I don’t know if it’s my favorable leanings towards teachers or what, but if there’s ever a movie on television when I’m scrolling through the 200 & higher channels on my cable box that involves teachers, I stop down and check out a few minutes if not the remainder of the flick.

Two nights ago it was the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer as Louanne Johnson, ex-marine turned inner city English teacher, in Dangerous Minds.

And, I started thinking about the best movies with teachers as the theme…

No question that Dead Poet’s Society starring Robin Williams as Mr. Keating is my favorite. Again, an English teacher.

Behind that one Mr. Holland’s Opus starring Richard Dreyfuss was really good. The scene at the end where the governor strolls in and plays clarinet bordered on hokey, but it never really crossed that line.

There was one I remember from high school that was called Teachers that starred Nick Nolte. I remember liking it then because of a nutty substitute in the history class that was eventually discovered to be a lunatic, but loved the nobility of being a teacher. I have no idea why I liked a movie that starred Nick Nolte (that wasn’t called 48 Hours) or had a soundtrack with .38 Special, but I did.

As far as television shows along that line, there’s no question that Boston Public was my favorite. Oddly, that showed died pretty quickly, as do most of the ones that use teachers as a focal point. Hmmm.


here’s your chance to chime in:

…what was your favorite movie or television show that had teaching as the major theme and why?

Have at it, patrons!