Great teachers are all alike, in a sense — they’re mentors, role models, lifelong inspirations. Terrible teachers, on the other hand, are all awful in different ways. Some are drunken burnouts, while others are obnoxious frauds or sexually amorphous jerks who invite their personal BDSM slaves to perform lewd acts in front of their fourth graders. (Okay, that last one is probably limited to South Park).
Still, TV shows and movies are filled with characters who exemplify both poles. And in honor of back-to-school season, PopWatch wants to know who you think deserves to be at the head of the class — as well as who needs to have their teaching certification revoked, pronto.
The rules: These polls focus on teachers, so school administrators (sorry, Principal Belding), librarians (ditto, Rupert Giles), coaches (adios, Sue Sylvester), headmistresses (good riddance, Matilda‘s Trunchbull) and guidance counselors (you too, Mr. Russo from Freaks and Geeks) weren’t eligible for inclusion. Otherwise, though, it’s anyone’s game. Will you exalt Mr. Feeny and denounce Professor Umbridge, or celebrate Dead Poets Society English teacher Mr. Keating while pooh-poohing Ms. Halsey of Bad Teacher? The choice is yours and yours alone — but here are your options. Don’t worry; we made sure to show our work.