We all have that one teacher who inspired us to be better and encouraged us to do things to the best of our abilities. These teachers are the ones that have made a lasting impression and guided us through life. In order to commemorate Teacher’s Day, here are 10 movies about individuals who have influenced the lives of the young for the better.
1. The School of Rock
In Richard Linklater’s heartfelt comedy, Jack Black plays a failed musician who picks up an unlikely position: as a substitute elementary music teacher. While his methods are unorthodox (and, you know, he’s posing as his roommate, who originally got the assignment), he teaches his students about confidence and gives them the skills to perform in a band.
2. Dead Poets Society
This beloved film features Robin Williams in one of his rare serious roles, playing an English teacher at an exclusive prep school who teaches his students to seize the day — and love literature in the process.
3. Freedom Writers
In Freedom Writers, high achieving teacher Erin Gruwellwas not used to failing until she began teaching literature in a racially divided inner city Los Angeles school. Her students do not take a liking to her, but after much trial and error, she finally breaks through when she discusses the subject of racism. Giving her students journals to write down their stories, Gruwell gives them hope to look beyond their violent and tough upbringing and towards a better future.
4. Taare Zameen Par
Aamir Khan plays an art teacher in a film revolving around a dyslexic kid and how the former helps him overcome his disability. While most of the teachers at Ishaan’s (Darsheel Safary) boarding school are rude and strict, Nikumbh sir played by Aamir comes across as a messiah. Look out for Darsheel and Aamir’s chemistry in the film.
5. Miss Stevens
Miss Stevens is a teacher who embarks on a road trip to a drama competition with three of her most talented students.
This 1996 adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic features one of cinema’s all-time monstrous school figures in the shape of Miss Trunchbull. But it also features one of its kindest, in the shape of Miss Honey, the sweet-natured teacher, who by adopting the titular genius ends up saving her from a life of neglect.
7. Remember The Titans
As two single-race Virginia high schools are forced to integrate in 1971, football coach Herman Boone must transform his divided black and white players into a united team. Boone’s team faces prejudice and resistance at every turn, but they manage to find a common ground while tearing up the turf. Just as teachers shape students beyond the classroom, coaches shape who players become on and off the field.
8. Good Will Hunting
The late Robin Williams plays an empathetic psychology professor Sean Maguire. He plays as the mentor to Matt Damon’s troubled self-taught genius, and the moment he reassures him about his abusive childhood.
9. The Great Debaters
Denzel Washington stars as the real-life Wiley College professor Melvin B. Tolson who, in 1935, organized his students into a debate team and impressively took on the Harvard team.
10. The Karate Kid
Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies. He is rescued by Japanese janitor Miyagi, who agrees to teach Daniel how to harness karate for good instead of brutality.