Favourite screen teachers

Team YOU took a straw poll about favourite teachers in Hollywood movies and here are the top five. Happy Teachers' Day!

  • Published 4.09.18

John Keating

Dead Poets Society

Subject: English

John Keating (played by the late Robin Williams) is an unorthodox teacher who guides his students on a journey of self-discovery using literature. Writes Anirban Saha, a student at City College, Calcutta, "Who can forget the final scene, where the students of the sacked teacher stand on their desks in an act of defiance? It wasn't just Keating's humour and humanity that made him an outstanding teacher; he represented a teacher who taught more than literature - he tried to change lives and create a new set of classroom ideals."

Minerva McGonagall

Harry Potter series

Subject: Transfiguration

Even though motherly, Professor Minerva McGonagall of Hogwarts won't take any nonsense. Writes Shweta Chakraborty, a Class XI student of Techno India Group Public School, Hooghly, "Though I am not very fond of strict teachers, I like her because she is strict for the right reasons. She also has the ability to recognise the potential of her students - it was she who discovered Harry's flying skills and put him in the Quidditch team. Harry was not even of age at that time, but she had faith in her student's ability. I feel every teacher must have that." Adds Sukanya Seal, a third-year student at Gokhale Girls' College, "She is a perfect teacher because not only is she knowledgeable, responsible and sympathetic, she is also ready to help any student in crisis. Besides, she is impartial towards both protagonist Harry Potter and antagonist Draco Malfoy."

Robert Langdon

Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons

Subject: Symbology and Religious Iconology

He is a good-looking American professor who finds himself dashing across the globe in an attempt to solve what a series of complex symbols means. Occasionally, he lectures at Harvard University and can be seen wearing Harris Tweed, loafers and a Mickey Mouse watch. Writes Nitisha Singh, Class IX student at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kharagpur, "Robert Langdon has a vast knowledge of History and Symbology. He is probably the most intelligent fictional teacher. He is sprightly, skillful and brave (he nearly met his death on a number of occasions)."

Miss Riley

October Sky

Subject: Science

"A good teacher plays a role in a student's life as important as that of a parent," writes Agni Bandyopadhyay, a first-year student at Techno India University, Salt Lake, Calcutta. The character of Miss Riley, played by Laura Dern, shows how a teacher can refine the raw talent of a student and lead him or her to success. Adds Agni, "She fought with society and her student's (Homer) parents so that he could be educated properly." No wonder Homer Hickam emerged as a rocket scientist for the Spacelab-J and Solar Max repair mission.

Henry Walton Jones Jr

Indiana Jones series

Subject: Archaeology

Students have rarely seen Dr Henry Walton Jones Jr - better known as Indiana Jones - in a classroom. He is the one who practices what he preaches and leaves no stone unturned (literally) to solve ancient mysteries. It's true that none of our lecturers can even think of such adventures, but Archaeology certainly needs such colourful characters. Writes Seema Sinha, a second-year History student at Calcutta University, "We need such professors to motivate us. Our textbooks are so boring and even field trips are predictable. An Indy among my teachers might have turned academics into an exciting adventure."