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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

World Teachers Day

Roald Dahl's Matilda gave us one of the most beloved educators in literature.

In honor of World Teachers Day (today!), we thought we'd share a list of some of our favorite fictional teachers. We may often forget to thank our teachers in real-life, but it's clear they have a tremendous impact on how we come to see the world and our place within it.

Minerva McGonagall, from Harry Potter
Professor McGonagall, the strict but fair Head of Hogwarts' Gryffindor House isn't without a sense of humor and is often of great help to Harry and his friends. Also, she protects her students fiercely, sometimes putting herself in personal danger to do so.

Miss Agnes, from The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirpatrick Hill
Life in remote Alaska is difficult and most teachers who come to teach at the one-room schoolhouse leave within a short time, but Miss Agnes is different. She comes to stay.

Miss Brooks, from Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don't) by Barbara Bottner
With the help of the determined Miss Brooks, even the reluctant reader, Missy finds a book she loves.

Miss Honey, from Matilda by Roald Dahl 
Miss Jennifer Honey is the best sort of elementary school teacher anyone could wish for, kind to her students and everyone around her and interested in nurturing her students' strengths and aspirations.  She notices Matilda's intellectual gifts and encourages them, sympathizing with Matilda's burden of living with abusive and closed-minded parents.

Miss Marks, from Minnie McClary Speaks Her Mind by Valerie Hobbs
When Miss Marks takes over, she encourages Minnie's class to think critically--about everything. When some of the adults question Miss Marks' approach and demand the teacher's suspension, Minnie finds herself asking a lot of questions and finds out that she may have the power to change things.

Miss Stacey, from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Energetic and lovable, Miss Stacey is a good friend and an even better mentor and teacher to orphaned Anne Shirley, always challenging her to be the best version of herself.  

Mr. Falker, from Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
One good teacher can change everything: for Trisha, that teacher is Mr. Falker, a patient and passionate fifth grade teacher who helps her overcome her reading challenges.

Mrs. Baker, from The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Holling Hoodhood is sure that Mrs. Baker hates him because she makes him spend Wednesday afternoons with her, reading Shakespeare, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Over time though, it becomes apparent that Mrs. Baker is trying to help Holling realize his potential.

Mrs. Olinski, from The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
Mrs. Olinski, overcomes her own personal challenges to inspire her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team.

Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic School Bus
The best teachers find ways to make their students excited about learning, and Ms. Frizzle certainly does that! Every lesson is an adventure.

Senor David, from Armando and the Blue Tarp School by Edith Hope Fine
When Senor David arrives and begins teaching school on a blue tarp spread on the ground, Armando, whose family work as trash pickers, finally learns to read and write in Spanish and English, how to do math, and how to draw. Even better? Senor David may be fictional, but he's based on a real teacher from New York (David Lynch) who taught in a Mexican colonia in the early 1980s.

Inevitably, we've left out a few important characters here. Who else belongs on this list and why? Tell us in the comments!

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