Top Ten Teachers in Speculative Fiction

Today marks the return to high school for me–as a teacher, not a student. Although, if the subject was math? Let’s just say there are many, many reasons that I’m a happy English teacher and will never have to cosine a tangent to balance an infinite number of Pi. Although I do like pie.

As I consider the school year ahead, my mind turns to awesome teachers I’ve had. And then, because I’m a geek, it turns to awesome teachers I might have had–if I were a Jedi, for instance. Or a superhero. And that led me to create my:

Top Ten Teachers in Speculative Fiction(in no particular order)

1.) Yoda (Star Wars) – Much wisdom, he has. Better as a puppet, he was. Proves that height matters not, he does.

2.) Professor X (and other X-Men) – Professor X is not only the world’s most powerful telepath, he’s a great teacher, who then mentored his students into becoming superheroes and teachers. How cool is that?

3.) Susan Sto Helit (Discworld) – this no-nonsense granddaughter of Death (through adoption-it’s complicated) runs a tight classroom, filled with the almighty Gold Stars, and epic field trips to other time periods in Discworld.

4.) Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings) – he technically fills more of the mentorship role, but the bottom line is, he knows a lot of stuff and passes it along to the next generation. Except when he doesn’t. But he’s a wizard, and they generally don’t have to explain themselves.

5.) Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars) – I was hesitant to add him, because technically Anakin Skywalker was one of his students. “My pupil turned into Darth Vader” doesn’t look good on a resume. But he redeemed himself by setting Luke on the right path, and really? Teachers can’t fix everything.

6.) Chiron (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) – this centaur of Greek myth is also the activities director at Camp Halfblood. He cares deeply for all the students, and encourages Percy in his regular studies, as well as in his demigod training.

7.) Professor McGonagall – she’s a powerful witch who does many things to protect Hogwarts from evil. Plus, she turns into a cat, which makes the idea of catching a prep-period catnap a lot more possible.

8.) Clara Oswald (Doctor Who) – this Doctor Who companion is spunky, cheeky, and teaches English when not traveling time and space. Her multitasking proves that it is possible to have a life outside of school–at least when you have a TARDIS.

9.) Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones movies) – granted, we never see him teach much. Most of the time, he’s ducking out of meetings with his students. Still, he is a college professor and it’s hard to argue with his field research!

10.) Shifu (Kung Fu Panda) – this epic red panda is tiny but mighty, able to fend off many foes with a few flicks of his fingers. He manages to get over his own skepticism and train Po into a winner, proving that the even most unlikely students can succeed.

Who’s your favorite fictional teacher (speculative or otherwise)?


6 thoughts on “Top Ten Teachers in Speculative Fiction

  1. This is awesome! Brilliant idea. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll have to think about your question though. There are so many cool ones like the ones you’ve already mentioned. I have a soft spot for Hagrid and Dumbledor, well, most of the teachers of Hogwarts! If I think of any, I will have to stop by later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What a fun post! I do love McGonagall. Of all the Hogwarts professors, though, Snape might be my favorite. ๐Ÿ˜€ In the non-speculative realm, I love Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series when she becomes a teacher – and her teacher Miss Stacy in the first book, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ And Charles Xavier is definitely a big favorite of mine too. (He’s supposedly an INFJ…although his X-Men: First Class version is not played that way, and I like his younger James MacAvoy persona too.)

    1. Oh yes, I love Miss Stacy! Snape has the best character arc. I’ve heard that Xavier is an INFJ as his older self, but he’s been typed as an ENTP for this younger self–just a bit of a contrast!

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