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15 Shows and Movies that Celebrate the Magic of Teachers

It’s no secret that teachers make the world a better place. They are our everyday heroes, and we would be nowhere without them. Remember, they’re teaching our future leaders, doctors, and educators. It all starts with them and us inside the classroom. Our teachers make so many different sacrifices to educate the next generations. Although many make their job look effortless, it is no easy endeavor. For that, we’re extremely grateful.

Here at Likewise, we choose to celebrate teachers all year long, so here’s a look at 15 iconic shows and movies that celebrate their endless magic. We hope these movies and shows will remind you of your favorite on-screen educators, or better yet, the ones you love, appreciate, and admire in real-life!

Harry Potter

As Professor Dumbledore once said, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” We could certainly use more of his wisdom. Whether you’ve read the books or not, the Harry Potter films are treasures that are absolutely worth watching (or re-watching)—especially for Dumbledore’s quotable moments.

“You can’t ever go wrong with Harry Potter.” – Melissa M. (Likewiser)

Cheer

If you want to see hard work, determination, and high stakes at play, then you have to binge the docuseries Cheer. We’ve all heard the Texas saying “Go big or go home,” and if Coach Monica’s going home, you better believe that there will be a trophy in hand. Why’s that? Because she’s pretty good at what she does, and winning is the only Navarro way.

“Having children in cheer years ago, this docuseries brought back so many memories. This is a must-see for the athleticism, dedication and sense of family, support, and respect.” – Lori C. (Likewiser)

Dead Poets Society

Before the untimely passing of Robin Williams, he inspired an entire generation to carpe diem, or “seize the day”, in his role as Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society. As Mr. Keating would say, “Make your lives extraordinary.” It’s certainly a message that we try to take to heart, and we hope you do too. For an Oscar-winning coming-of-age drama that’ll warm your heart, watch Dead Poets Society. So, how will you choose to “seize the day?

“This is a great, inspiring story, but it might also bring on some strong emotions. Robin Williams does what he does best and never disappoints, playing a school teacher at a boys school.” – Kimberly T. (Likewiser)

Glee

Before One Direction was ever a thing (shocking, we know!), there was the McKinley High School Glee Club, New Directions, which Mr. Schue led all the way to—well, you’ll have to tune in to find out. But honestly, if you love music, dance, drama, and shows containing a whole lot of heart, Glee is something you don’t want to miss. Here at Likewise, we’re #Gleeks for life!

“This show touches on a lot of things that students go through during high school. It made me cry, laugh, and jump for joy.” – Naana B. (Likewiser)

The Magic School Bus

If you’re in the mood for a crazy adventure or a walk down memory lane, then it’s time for you to hop on the “magic school bus.” Ms. Frizzle is the most fearless science teacher and will leave your imagination running wild. While you watch this show, you’ll most certainly feel like a kid again!

“This is a great show for kids to learn!” – Lexi R. (Likewiser)

New Girl

Speaking of wild, ♪ who’s that girl? Who’s that girl? It’s Jess! ♪ Oh yes, Jess is the quirky teacher we all wish we had in school. Check out all of her antics and more on the hilarious TV series New Girl. Trust us, you will never get bored.

“Good to watch when you need a pick me up, and never fails to give you a good laugh. You fall in love with the plot and characters. I rewatched this series about four times.” – Josalyn T. (Likewiser)

Kindergarten Cop

Tough city cop, John Kimble, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is trading in his detective badge for a pack of crayons in Kindergarten Cop. Brace yourselves for a mad police chase when Kimble goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher in the hopes of restoring law and order. Will justice be served? You’ll have to see for yourself!

“One of my favorite Arnold movies. Infinitely quotable and fun for everyone!” – Chris T. (Likewiser)

The Great Debaters

What makes The Great Debaters so great? We’ll tell you! Aside from being based on the real-life story of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson, this film features stunning performances from Academy Award Winners Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Amid the Jim Crow era, the Wiley Debate Team has all the odds stacked against them…yet they still succeed. Watch the film to see how they make history.

This is an incredibly moving, inspiring, and powerful film. The history depicted felt so real and is the kind of movie that stays with you forever.” – Lindsay D. (Likewiser)

School of Rock

Dewey Finn, played by the comedic actor Jack Black, impersonates his former bandmate to land a gig as a lead guitarist? No, a substitute teacher! What could possibly go wrong?! One thing’s for sure: you’ll definitely wish you attended the School of Rock after you view this musical comedy fan-favorite.

“One of the best movies of all time. Jack Black is a legend.” – T Bone C. (Likewiser)

Friday Night Lights

Now, if you call yourself a sports fan, nothing will get your adrenaline pumping faster than hearing the words, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” It’s the mantra that Coach Taylor repeats before every football game. You can catch all of his locker room pep talks in Friday Night Lights.

“Deeply character-driven with a storyline for everyone. It also has perhaps the most perfect series ending. So even if you aren’t a football fan, don’t let that stop you from watching! #TexasForever” – Sam V. (Likewiser)

Freedom Writers

If you haven’t written diary entries before, you’ll probably want to pick up a composition notebook after watching Freedom Writers. Mrs. Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank, encourages her students to write about their experiences, and they have a lot to share. Luckily for them, they have a teacher that will do whatever it takes to help them succeed. Perhaps Mrs. Gruwell will remind you of a childhood teacher that made a huge difference in your life.

“The teacher is one of the best characters. She is so selfless and wants to help her students. I definitely recommend this movie and would definitely watch it again!” – Haylee F. (Likewiser)

Mona Lisa Smile

Who run the world?! Girls! Well, in this case, women. Julia Roberts stars as the free-spirited teacher, Ms. Watson, at a female-only college where the women are more concerned about getting their Mrs. degree than anything else. Can Ms. Watson change their conservative beliefs? Only time will tell, but she’s definitely up for the challenge. 

“Probably my first real understanding of why feminism was needed. I didn’t realize how far we had come or how far we still had to go. This was an eye opener for me in high school.” – Lola B. (Likewiser)

Dangerous Minds

Sorry, kids! This one’s rated R, for reasons we’re not going to get into right now. All you need to know is the film stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Louanne Johnson, an ex-marine turned teacher, who uses unconventional methods to gain her students’ trust. Oh, and here’s a bonus: if you love Dangerous Minds, the movie, check out the short-lived drama series, Dangerous Minds, that continues the escapades of Johnson, played by Annie Potts this time around.

“This is such a heartfelt story. I loved how the teacher never gave up on her students. We need more movies like this. It is definitely worth the watch!” – Rachel K. (Likewiser)

Mr. Holland’s Opus

“Playing music is supposed to be fun. It’s about heart, it’s about feelings, moving people, and something beautiful.” These wise words are from the film Mr. Holland’s Opus. Watch Mr. Holland, a passionate music teacher, embark on his decades-long journey to become great when, unbeknownst to him, greatness was inside of him all along. 

“It’s a lovely movie from beginning to end. One of those movies that you feel you have experienced over many years in just 2 1/2 hours. And I mean that in a very good way.” – Ernie T. (Likewiser)

Boy Meets World

And we certainly can’t forget the lovable Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. He’s a teacher, mentor, and friend. If you’re ever in need of some sound advice, Mr. Feeny always has your back. Mr. Feeny stars in this nineties sitcom that’ll make you reminisce about your favorite teenage memories.

“This show wasn’t only wholesome and funny, but it taught great lessons about relationships, friendships, responsibility, and compassion.” – Shay S. (Likewiser)


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Riahnna is a seasoned media professional with a passion for pop culture news in film, television, and streaming content. Her keen eye is always plugged in to what’s trending in the entertainment space. When she’s not binging away her favorite dramas at home, you will most likely locate her at a movie theater or concert venue.    
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