True Life: my parents were both teachers. Actually, my father retired as a film and TV production teacher, so it's unshocking that I picked up all my life lessons from pop culture. I mean, I spent more time in Springfield Elementary than I did at Whatever-The-Hell High School I went to. And it makes sense, because there are plenty of life lessons to be picked up from your favorite fictional teachers. In fact, I decided to comb through some wise words from the best (and worst) TV teachers of all time.
Because it is through their gentle guidance that we're educated into being strong young adults, ready to grab the future for ourselves. Or at least look at the world with a more honest, if not cynical eye. And in no way did a TV-saturated adolescence make us into mindless pop culture-referencing zombies, who were doodling Invader Zim in our notebooks during Algebra and boycotting homework for 13 some-odd years. That definitely didn't happen.
... And even if it did, we're better for learning from these scholars. Dare to contest me? Educate yourself with these 11 quotes from some of the most memorable TV teachers of all time.
1. "Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy!" — Miss Frizzle
Lord knows that Miss Frizzle, who spent an average class day giving her student body a tour of a LITERAL student's body, was a risk taker on Magic School Bus.
2. “Take These History Books With A Grain Of Salt As They Focus Primarily On White Western Males.” — Miss Grotke
Nobody gives the Recess teacher enough credit for this, but she is a MAJOR feminist and I love her for it. She is constantly urging her students to question history and look on with a critical eye. There's not enough of that in your standard educational system.
3. “Remember: If You Feel Yourself Getting Mad, Go Ahead! If Someone's Doing Something To Irritate You, Tell Them About It In Detail! And Hike.... Whenever You Feel Like it!” — Mr. DeMartino
I don't know if you should always give into this #YOLO attitude, especially given how Mr. DeMartino is often a hysterical wreck with eye-bulging rage issues on Daria. However, I support expressing yourself always and going out for nature walks at least once in a while.
4. "Sometimes The Things You Complain Most About Are Things You Care Most About. Unfortunately We Don’t Always Know That Until It’s Too Late." — Mr. Feeny
Oh Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World, you wise oracle, you. This applies to nearly everything... whether it's complaining about Donald Trump getting into the office but not actually voting in the election, or complaining about your significant other and getting pissy when they dump you.
5. "Well, That's One Way To Respond By Not Responding. Silence: Often Speaks Volumes." — Mr. Simmons
Always a peace keeper, this one, on Hey Arnold.
6. "Don’t Lose Track Of Who You Are Just Because It Might Be Easier To Pretend To Be Somebody Else" — Mr. Schuester
My mom watched Glee. Just wanted to reinforce that, for the sake of my street cred. But hey, Mr. Schue teaches primarily about being yourself and Journey, so that's great.
7. “You Can Get Through This Without Losing Your Sanity. Oh, That's A Road We Don't Want To Go Down Again. Positives. Think Of The Positives” — Mrs. Puff
This is actually a mantra she has to say to herself on SpongeBob when it looks like she's going back to prison, but I think it's worth repeating next time you go to a baby shower.
8. "There Are No Stupid Questions, Just Stupid People." — Mr. Garrison
Actually I'm not sure if South Park's Mr. Garrison is a good source of information and/or encouragement, but I'm sure this made a great Hot Topic t-shirt in 2003.
9. “Take A Good Look, Children. It Will Prepare You For Your Adult Lives In Our Nightmarish Corporate System.” — Ms. Bitters
Oh, for more context on this Invader ZIM teacher's wisdom, just look at a video of a hamster running in a wheel.
10. “You Don’t Like My Style, That’s Fine. But I’m Not Gonna Change Who I Am. So You’re Gonna Have To Deal With It And Respect It.” — Jessica Day
Sometimes we forget the New Girl star is a teacher, too, and this is a great line to take with you in any situation, whether it's about how you write or how you insist on wearing red lipstick to the supermarket.
11. “I Don’t Entertain Much. Usually, It’s Just Salad For One, Soup For One, Wine For Three.” — Mrs. Krabappel
This one isn't even a lesson, I just want to reinforce that this Simpson's teacher was a woman after my own heart. R.I.P., angel.
Images: Scholastic Entertainment (1); Giphy (11)