Friday, October 9, 2015

World Teachers Day: 8 Fictional Teachers Who Taught Us Unforgettable Life Lessons

Teachers are awesome—we all know that. They’ve taught us during our formative years and helped shape us to become who we are today. We have our favorite mentors, but there are those who, despite being fictional, have taught us life lessons we will never forget. Don’t you wish you had these teachers in real life?

1 . Mr. Feeny  from Boy Meets World

“But to me, a real hero is someone who does the right thing when the right thing isn’t the easy thing to do." Honestly. If all neighbors were as totally cool as Mr. Feeny, I’d be at my backyard, talking to him all day, too. George Feeny wasn’t just Cory Matthews’ teacher in school—he was also Eric Matthews’ life coach. Without Mr. Feeny, who knows what would have happened to Eric? It’s Feeny’s no-nonsense wisdom that made us walk out of every Boy Meets World episode as a bit of a better person than when we came in.  "If you let people's perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person," he says.

Besides, if there were no Mr. Feeny, there would be no Feeny call—and who wants to live a life having never heard that?

2 . Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter novels

He might act like a senile old man from the outside, but on the inside, he is anything but. As Harry’s very own guardian angel, Dumbledore was as much a professor to his students as he was a loving sorta grandpa to everyone. He taught us about making the right decisions in life (“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”), how to find joy in sadness (“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”), and how to suck it up when we encounter challenges in life (“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it”). With the kindest heart, the brightest mind, and one of the most powerful magical abilities in the wizarding world (and a mind-blowingly awesome name like Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore), can anyone ask for a better mentor? “After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

Here’s to Albus Dumbledore—the grooviest magical headmaster ever.

3. Mr. Schuester from Glee

So Mr. Schue isn’t just a Spanish teacher, but he is also a heartbreakingly good singer. He never fails to encourage his students to reach for the stars and to always believe in themselves to fulfill their dreams. "The best teachers don't give you the answers. They just point the way and let you make your own choices, your own mistakes. That way you get all the glory, and you deserve it." A pure heart, an angelic voice, and a smoking body to boot? I’m betting nobody would ever want to skip any class with this eye candy.

4 . Ms. Norbury from Mean Girls

Not only is Tina Fey the greatest, but she also makes her character Ms. Norbury funny and yet completely sensible at the same time. She taught us that boys aren’t all that (even though it might seem that way in high school). “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.” She’s also the adviser to the school’s Mathletes, and she’s no stranger to standing up for women everywhere. “Okay, so we're all here because of this book, right? Well, I don't know who wrote this book, but you all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.” Yay, girl power!

5. Mr. Keating from Dead Poet's Society

Robin Williams did it again with one of the most inspirational roles in film. As John Keating, he taught us that we should never be afraid of being who we are as individuals, and that self-confidence is everything. We learned that we should seize the day and be the best we can be. "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

6. Mr. Collins from The Wonder Years

“Mr. Collins wasn't your average teacher. He was more like...a force of nature. He was kind of a mathematical whirlwind - a tornado of chalk. He was full of surprises…” Kevin (the narrator version) says. “Sure he was tough, but you had to respect him, and you wanted him to respect you, too. At least I did.”

What is it with fictional Math teachers? Mr. Collins’ tragedy during his last episode made us all cry (why is the world so cruel?), but more importantly, he left behind valuable lessons not just for Kevin Arnold, but for all of us. And sometimes, tough love is just what we need to succeed. “When you're thirteen, life is a series of events. One thing happens, then another...things go on,” Kevin narrates after Mr. Collins’ death. “As I took that test, I thought about...a lot of things. About how I knew him, and yet, I didn't. About how he treated me like a man, and I acted like a child. About how I let him down, and now I wouldn't.”

7. Charles Xavier from the X-Men comics

Who says you can’t be a professor and still have time to recruit troubled mutants and give them a place where they can belong? Charles Xavier always sees the best in everyone, and if anyone can inspire us during difficult trials in life, he can. “And as frightening as it can be, that pain will make you stronger. If you allow yourself to feel it, embrace it, it will make you more powerful than you ever imagined. It's the greatest gift we have: to bear their pain without breaking. And it comes from the most human part of us: hope.”

8. Yoda from Star Wars

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” As the mentor of all mentors, Yoda leads the Jedi with great wisdom and incredible insight. Because he’s been around since forever, you can’t deny the fact that he knows pretty much everything. “Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” You simply can’t not learn anything from him because almost everything he says is a quotable quote—as long as you get used to his backward way of talking. But then again, because he is one lightsaber-swinging badass, how can you not obey every word he says?

*This article was first published on The Philippine Online Chronicles HERE.

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