Top teachers in literature

Oct 2016
We considered the most inspirational teachers in children's fiction.

As we are already a month into the new school year, students across the country will be feeling more and more at ease with their new teachers.

To their students a good teacher is much more than simply an educator; they are also a counsellor, a supporter, and a motivator.

With a nod to World Teachers Day last week (5 October), and to encourage you to get stuck into a fascinating read, we have looked at some of the top teachers in fiction, and considered what makes them so inspirational.

Miss Honey - Matilda by Roald Dahl

Like her namesake, Roald Dahl's Miss Honey is extremely sweet, her understanding and gentle demeanour means she is beloved by all of her students.

Matilda is a huge fan of her teacher, and Dahl's young heroine is able to flourish with Miss Honey's support and care; she immediately sees Matilda's incredible abilities and encourages her to challenge herself and pursue her potential.

She is a great role model, whose kind and loving nature helps to brighten up the school days of her class at Crunchem Hall Primary School.

Mrs McGonagall - Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

Mrs McGonagall is the firm but fair Transfiguration Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She is a no-nonsense, straight-talking teacher, who is respected and admired by her students for her intelligence and skill. Throughout the book series she demonstrates her bravery and courage, along with her passion and loyalty to Hogwarts and its students.

Miss Nelson - Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard

Don't judge Miss Nelson on first impressions; she may be good-natured and kind but she's no soft touch! Fed up of her disruptive class who don't seem to appreciate her, she employs a clever trick in order to teach her students a lesson - she dresses up as the terrifying and witchy substitute, Miss Viola Swamp, who soon makes the children realise how lucky they are to have a teacher like Miss Nelson.

Rather than shouting and screaming, Miss Nelson uses her intelligence and practical skills to teach the students in Room 207 a valuable lesson in behaviour and respect.

Ms. Frizzle - The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole

Eccentric teacher Ms. Frizzle takes her class on unforgettable trips and fosters in them an enthusiasm and passion for science. With the help of her magic school bus and lively personality, she makes learning fun and, although she's slightly quirky, her students love and respect her.

These characters are just four stand-out teachers from literature, but there are many more we could have considered; the common thread you will find amongst all of these individuals in fiction, and in real life, is a passion for nurturing and developing young learners!