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Cool Teacher

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Oh, Captain, my Captain!

“I will use anything, from Beethoven to Billie Holiday to rock 'n' roll, if I think it’ll help me teach a student to love music.”
Glenn Holland, Mr. Holland's Opus

A teacher...who is cool. They motivate their students to learn (possibly in "fun ways" that actually are fun), laugh at the Stern Teacher and Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher behind their backs, protect their students from the Sadist Teacher and oppose the Evil Teacher and Dean Bitterman at every turn. Their consistently good results might protect them from being a Fired Teacher, but this isn't a given. A lot of these end up being a Mentor Archetype either way.

Often a Foil to the Apathetic Teacher.

It isn't uncommon for this character to act as a Parental Substitute if one or more students has parental issues.

Supertrope to Psychologist Teacher, Badass Teacher, and Enthusiastic Newbie Teacher. Compare to More than Just a Teacher.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Glenn in Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor. While initially an Apathetic Teacher due to a combination of laziness and hating his subject (magic), after he takes his job seriously he becomes one of the best teachers in the school. He disregards the syllabus but this only means he's able to teach his students how to truly understand magic rather than learning by rote. He's good enough that students from other classes go to his lectures to listen.
  • Koro-Sensei from Assassination Classroom is a Cool Teacher to an absurd degree. Koro-Sensei is a cool, incredibly friendly and approachable teacher with a great deal of patience who encourages outside-of-the-box thinking for all his delinquent students, uses positive reinforcement constantly to successfully raise all their grades, tailors his lesson plans to his students' individual strengths, is willing to stay after school to listen to his students' problems or just hang out and help them with any hobby or activity, will intervene if the student has a troubled home life, and protect his students at the cost of his own life. If it weren't for the whole "I'm going to blow up the planet if I'm not assassinated by March" thing he would literally be the perfect teacher.
  • Sumiko Kobayashi from Case Closed tries to pass herself off as a Sadist Teacher at first, to not fail at her work, but as soon as her cold, jerkish demeanour is blown, she embraces her Cool Teacher persona thoroughly.
  • Chisa Yukizome in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, the former "Ultimate Housekeeper" and the 77th class' teacher in the Despair Arc. Despite the Ultimates not needing to attend class as long as they pass their exams, she goes out of their way to round them all up on her first day to encourage them to socialize with each other and manages to earn the respect of them all, including Kuzuryu (the Ultimate Yakuza) who she pulls a knife on when he tries to mouth off to her.
  • Deconstructed with Gavrill Madaraki in Franken Fran when a family friend asks her to fill in at his school. Most of her students adore her because she gives them advice for their problems. Said advice tends to be along the lines of "get away with rape by using your parents' status to blackmail your victims" and "get rich by seducing a millionaire, have his child, force him into marriage, and kill him". That said, she does occasionally give genuinely good advice.
  • This is the entire premise of Great Teacher Onizuka. Onizuka is so much of a supportive teacher to his student's own problems, that very shortly into the series, he already had his own female students throwing him their panties in appreciation. He's not even that kind of teacher either..... most of the time.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen has these examples:
    • Gojo hides youthful features beneath his blindfold. He is relatively likeable among his students, given his fun personality and sassy attitude. He cares about his students, and he is considered to be one of the most powerful living sorcerers.
    • May also apply to the principal of Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School, Masamichi Yaga, who asks Yuji a lot of Armor Piercing Questions. Despite his seemingly childish interest in making dolls, the dolls themselves are infused with his curse, which makes them deadly in battle. He also wears shades.
    • The principal of Kyoto Jujutsu High School, Gakuginji Yoshinobu, qualifies as well when he transforms himself into a rock-star like dude while fighting a curse that tries to target Gojo.
  • Professor William James Moriarty of Moriarty the Patriot is quite popular with his students, possibly because he's barely older than any of them himself. They are invested in asking about his personal life, take an interest in his academic research, and one even develops full-blown academic idol-worship. One of the first ones seen asks to visit his house!
  • Takamichi of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is often viewed as this. Negi kind of counts.
  • Shizuka Nekonome in Rosario + Vampire is one of the few teachers who happens to be generally nice to everyone, enthusiastic about her job and helping her students learn, and actively encourages her students to participate in extracurricular activities. She does have a nasty habit of scratching her students whenever they point out something about her cat nature, though... even if it is for her own genuine good and protection.
  • Professor Kukui from Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon has an attitude that is both easygoing and adventurous, and he makes sure that his students share in the fun. When Ash decides to enroll in his school, he's immediately accepting of his new student.
  • Monsieur Dufarge, Sarah's French teacher in Princess Sarah, is a good example, and ends up being a father figure to her. Of course, this leads to inevitable consequences, given the sort of series it is.
  • Vampire Knight: Touga Yagari and Kaien Cross.

    Comic Books 
  • Pia Ek from Kunskapens Korridorer wants to become one of these. And despite a rough first day, she seems to become well-liked by her students afterwards.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Unlike some of the other Holliday College professors Prof. "Chemico" is happy to share his findings with his students, and any time he's set to go on anything resembling an expedition will bring along those students who ask to instead of trying to coddle them and keep them at the school to be proper demure ladies.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Dr. Vanderbilt, the new physics teacher in "The Teacher" is both the object of desire by the local sophomore high school girls and a kindly, helpful sort. When he demonstrates his cooking skills as guest instructor in the school's Home Ec class, he offers a one-on-one after school session to any students who want to improve their culinary skills. Penny takes him up on the offer, beginning her Precocious Crush on Dr. Vanderbilt that inevitably leads to her developing feelings for him. Unaware that he has become the object of Penny's affection, he allows her to do outside chores around his house for extra cash later on.
  • Professor Trevolry (aka "Sinister/Sinatra)" in My Immortal is supposed to be this, described as "goffic", as well as with the language she uses to refer to Enoby.
  • Naruto Rend: Much to his own surprise (and Hinata's amusement), Naruto is this Ichigo. It's helped by how the two aren't so different (which makes it easy for Naruto to predict his actions and guide Ichigo) and that whenever Ichigo is about to be reckless, Naruto can just bring up what happened in his previous life to get him to slow down and think things. Later causes the two to bond and level with each other about their concerns and inner turmoil.
  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook turns a large portion of the cast of Dragon Age into an entire staff full of these. Their Teachers Out of School antics drive most of the plot of the series, much to the amusement of their students. Since most of the teachers don't have children, and most of the students have either terrible parents or none at all, it's very much a Family of Choice sort of atmosphere and many shenanigans are tolerated that would not be allowed at a normal school.
  • In When Reason Fails, as a sharp contrast to Aizawa, Yagi is willing to go the extra mile for his students while making sure they can stand on their own without his help eventually. He actually helps Ochako at U.A., even giving her an Initiate phone and getting her in Izuku's classes even though she technically doesn't have any right to either due to being an undead.

    Films — Animation 
  • Subverted in Disney's Big Hero 6. Professor Callaghan genuinely cares about his students, but his daughter is seemingly killed because of Krei. The hatred and embitterment the professor feels for Krei drives him to become Yokai, and therefore oppose his former students after they become the Big Hero 6.
  • The science teacher in Frankenweenie sort of counts, though it can be a little unclear due to the gloomy tone of the film. But he is clearly very excited about his subject; he illustrates his points with theatrical story telling, gestures, and chalk drawings; and he chides the adults of the town for being small-minded and preventing him from expanding their children's minds, even if he has an (on the surface) fairly threatening way of saying it. He also listens and gives advice to Victor when he asks him a question outside of the classroom, and tells him it's important to love his project. Note that most of the class is very excited about the Science Fair, and that the children don't seem very happy with their substitute when he is fired.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Miss Caleros, Miles' physics teacher. A lesser teacher would've taken it at face value that Miles was a hopeless student after he handed back a true-false test with every answer wrong. But Miss Caleros? She makes the deduction that whilst a blind-folded person would get at least half the answers right on luck alone, Miles got all the answers wrong because he knew all the right ones, so she gives him a perfect score on the test. Furthermore, Miss Caleros deducts that the root of Miles’ issues is how he feels out-of-place at Brooklyn Visions Academy, so she assigns him to write a personal essay about what he wants in life in order to help him nurture his self-improvement.
    Miss Caleros: You're trying to quit. And I'm not going to let you.
  • In Turning Red, Mr. Kieslowski appears to be this. He is friendly, genuinely tries to make math fun through funny comments and is easy on his students if they get a bit rowdy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • American History X: Venice Beach High's school principal Dr. Sweeney was apparently so cool as a literature teacher that Derek still respected him even after becoming a skinhead. He also gives personal attention to Danny in hopes of turning him away from racism.
  • Dangerous Minds: LouAnne Johnson, a real-life former Marine who taught at a high school in the ghetto and manages to connect with them.
  • Mr. John Keating in Dead Poets Society founds the society in question and encourages his students to follow their dreams. He becomes The Scapegoat when one of his pupils is Driven to Suicide by his overbearing father, although the rest take his words to heart.
  • Mr. Arthur from The Duff. Though a tad eccentric, he's the only teacher who doesn't hate his students, lust after them, or overreact to every little thing. He's even cool enough to brush it off when Bianca tells him to eat a dick when she mistakes him for another student who was going to tease her.
  • Jack Griffith (played by Thomas Haden Church) in Easy A, at least through Olive's eyes. Starts one class with a rap song, although he immediately stops, claiming that doing that is disrespectful. Unfortunately, his wife doesn't appear to find him interesting enough to keep her from sleeping with a student.
  • Dr. Ira Kane in Evolution (2001) is a super laid back Chemistry professor at a small community college, loved by pretty much all his students, and does a good job teaching the material. Even when two Book Dumb idiots hand in essays that are completely off-topic and both contain the exact same single paragraph, he only gives them a C-.
  • Zeki Müller in the German comedy movie Fack ju Göthe (a Funetik Aksent misspelling of Fuck You, Goethe.) and its sequel. He is a former criminal who, in an attempt to recover the lost money of the heist that brought him into prison, poses as a teacher at the Goethe Gesamtschule. The class he is supposed to teach is full of students with little to no manners or respect for the school staff. Hilarity ensues as the former prison inmate Zeki tries to teach Class 10b some manners. In the sequel he has to survive a class trip with his chaotic students to Thailand.
  • Erin Gruwell of Freedom Writers. Charged with teaching a class full of 'untouchable' students, she eventually encourages them to come together. When the school refuses to give the class new books, Erin works a second job to be able to pay for them herself. The students are inspired by her to fund-raise for none other than Miep Giesnote  to visit the class. Also based off of the real life teacher.
  • Marry Me (2022): Charlie is beloved by the students in his math club, who are all enthusiastic and participative. He becomes even cooler when his famous singer wife Kat drops by the school and hangs out with them.
  • Mean Girls has Principal Duvall and Ms. Norburry, whose students don't realize just how cool they are — though Cady begins to warm up to them at the end.
    • Principal Duvall is a genuinely friendly and easygoing guy who really cares about his students, but his coolness really comes through during the hallway brawl. Upon finding out all the girls in the school are rioting, he grabs his baseball bat and goes out into the chaos, single-handedly breaking it up. He's also about an inch away from beating the crap out of Coach Carson when he finds out the latter has been sleeping with students.
    • Ms. Norburry, meanwhile, is willing to push students when she feels they're holding themselves back, but she can be remarkably chill with students she likes. After the mathletes competition, when Cady explains that she can't go to the dance because she's grounded, Ms. Norburry shrugs and says, "You're already out." It's also apparent that, despite her awkwardness, she has the Plastics' number when it comes to their social politics and mind games.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: Katherine Ann Watson is a young, friendly and passionate graduate student in the 1950s who challenges her female students to reach beyond what society expects of them.
  • Glen Holland of Mr. Holland's Opus could be considered a reconstruction, because he initially sees teaching as a "fallback"—a way to earn money to finance his composing. He quickly learns to care for the kids and love his job.
  • Roberta Guspari Demetras in Music of the Heart. She spends ten years teaching violin to elementary kids in Harlem, then puts on a super concert to raise funds when her program is threatened with being cut. Also based on a Real Life teacher.
  • Mary in The Muppets (2011), such that her students simultaneously admit they'll miss her during their two-week Spring Break.
  • Rescuers: Stories of Courage: The character played by Alfred Molina and his wife are teachers who hide Jewish students from the Nazis.
  • School Of Life: Ryan Reynolds plays Michael D'Angelo, a new history teacher at Fallbrook Central, replacing the favorite late "Stormin' Norman" Warner. Mr. D, as he is called by everyone, from students to other teachers and the principal, is easygoing and friendly. His relatable teaching style wins over everyone, and drives Matt Warner, science teacher and the son of the late Norman, who still can't quite come out of his father's shadow, up the wall. Eventually, even Matt comes over to Mr. D's side and changes his teaching style to mirror Mr. D's, partly due to finding out that Michael has inoperable lung cancer, and his condition is rapidly deteriorating. After Mr. D's death, Matt becomes the embodiment of this trope, especially after he stops worrying about making his late father proud and just has fun.
  • Dewey Finn in School of Rock is a Reconstruction. He is not a trained teacher and is only posing as one to earn some quick money, and then only intends to use the children to make money from the Battle of the Bands. But he comes to care for the children and his influence really helps bring them together. He doesn't help their grades, but he does help their creativity and self-expression a lot.
  • Deloris Van Cartier becomes this in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. She's asked to go undercover as the music teacher at an inner-city Catholic school on the verge of closure, discovers the students can sing, and turns them into a competition-winning choir, simultaneously convincing the local diocese to keep the school open.
  • The Slumber Party Massacre: Coach Jana is fair and encouraging towards her students both on and off the basketball court and goes to Trish's house out of concern for the girls' safety.
  • Jaime Escalante, from Stand and Deliver is a witty, irreverent and forceful teacher who challenges his students to succeed. He's also a bit of a Kavorka Man, showing that his strength of personality has helped him in other areas of life as well. The character is also a real person.
  • The Substitute: Jonathan Shale is a mercenary who pretends to be a substitute teacher to investigate a criminal conspiracy in the school, but along the way he becomes a tough-but-cool teacher, drawing from his knowledge of history and the school of hard knocks to connect with his class.
  • Mr. Freddy Shoop in Summer School is maybe a little too cool at times, but enforced in that he's just the gym teacher who was forced to teach remedial English or lose his job.
  • The Sure Thing: Professor Taub, Allison and Gib's English teacher, is like this - she does push her students to do better, but does so nicely and with humor:
    Professor Taub: Have some fun! Yes, sleep when you feel like it, not when you think you should. Eat food that is bad for you, at least once in a while. Have conversations with people whose clothes are not color-coordinated. Make love in a hammock!
  • In Temple Grandin, Temple has one of these, a science teacher named Mr. Carloch. He is the first teacher to see Temple as "different, not less," and encourage her gifts. He also sticks up for her when other teachers ridicule her and want to fail her because of the problems she has in some subjects due to autism/Asperger's. Temple stays in touch with Carloch after high school and even comes to his funeral.
  • Ms. Oishi, the beloved elementary school teacher in Japanese film Twenty-Four Eyes. She teaches her kids fun songs, takes them on hikes, and more importantly, reads them subversive literature and questions Japanese militarism.
  • Brendan in Warrior is shown to be very popular and effective with his students. Once they learn he is also a badass MMA fighter, he proves even more popular.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles adopts this role when he trains the young mutants; he is always friendly, supportive and caring.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor Xavier is well-liked by his students because of his warm and pleasant disposition. He even dresses cool by '80s standards (his clothing is more casual than what he wore in the original trilogy and in First Class), which makes it a little easier for the youngsters to relate to him because he puts in some effort in following current trends.
  • Another Round: After starting the film as Apathetic Teachers, all four main characters start drinking at work and become cool teachers through their newfound self-confidence and social inhibition.

  • The Anderssons: Elin is very fond of her old school teacher, Mr Stendahl. He is even able to help her with getting a place at the Art Academy in Stockholm. And later, he will become her daughter Rebecka's teacher as well.
  • Angela Nicely: Angela considers Miss Darling the best teacher because she’s the most patient, most amiable, and most lenient.
  • Bridge to Terabithia has Miss Edmunds. In a school that forces boring conformity, she as the music teacher is the only one who influences Jess and Leslie's creative sides. In the film she's played by Zooey Deschanel, who takes this and runs with it.
  • Miss Desjardin of Carrie fits this not through her teaching methods, but through what she does in the story. When she sees just how awfully the girls in her class bully Carrie, she takes it upon herself to discipline them personally - essentially forcing them to do a week's detention for her (and she's the gym teacher, so she makes them sweat) by threatening them with suspension and banning from the prom; Miss Desjardin thought that should have been the punishment to begin with but the administration overrode her. She even risks her job to put the Alpha Bitch Chris Hargenson in her place with a slap. And at the prom, she takes the time to sit with Carrie and make sure she's having a good time. The film adaptations expand on this - in the 1976 film she gets a scene where she comforts Carrie and suggests how she could dress up for the prom, and in the 2002 film she's responsible for getting several students out of the burning gym.
  • Honoria Bulstrode, headmistress of Meadowbanks, from the Agatha Christie novel Cat Among the Pigeons. She's not overly strict, but she seems to have an almost telepathic knowledge of everything that goes on at her school. Eileen Rich, the English teacher, also qualifies.
  • In the 6th Ciaphas Cain book, Ciaphas seems to have become one of these (he admits to being more relaxed than the other teachers and seems more than willing to take his trainee commissars into the field to get some experience).
  • Gore Vidal's Creation (1981) shows us the philosophy and practice of Confucius who is so cool that even the cynical Gore Vidal is in awe of him.
  • In the Franny K. Stein books, Franny gets along rather well with her teacher Ms. Shelly, owing to her being more open-minded towards Franny's interest in mad science than everyone else at school.
  • Fish in a Tree: Mr. Daniels is an upbeat, energetic guy who refers to his student as his "fantasticos". He takes a particular shine to Ally, and even helps her overcome her dyslexia.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Professor Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a nice teacher who gives interesting practical lessons and knows how to motivate insecure students to better themselves. In Harry's class, he is regarded as the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher ever.
    • Professor Moody in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has a very hands on teaching style, which involves casting one of the Unforgivable Curses on his students and has a gruff demeanor overall. He does know his teaching style can make some students upset and takes time afterwards to cheer those students up, as seen with Neville. He also gives Harry hints on how to survive the Triwizard Tournament. Even after finding out Moody is an impostor working for Voldemort, who imprisoned the real Alastor Moody, Dean Thomas admits they learned a lot from him.
    • Zig-zagged with Hagrid. He is cool, and he does become a teacher, but his inexperience makes his classes either too dangerous or utterly boring. Harry, Ron, and Hermione only pretend to like them for Hagrid's sake, and all three drop the class when it's no longer mandatory.
    • A few teachers are this from specific students' perspectives. For example, Hermione greatly admires Professor McGonagall, and over time Harry does as well. Lavender and Parvati are likewise in awe of Professor Trelawney - though Harry personally thinks she's nuts.
  • Miss Bulstrode's friend Miss Emlyn from Hallowe'en Party. Miss Emlyn actually figures out who the killer is before Poirot does, though she doesn't have enough evidence to go to the police, and Poirot consults her on several details of his plan before executing it.
  • Deconstructed in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. The titular Jean Brodie has a preference for art and culture, and has a selection of girls she calls the 'Brodie Set'. While she encourages them to be more liberal against the school's conservatism, this is Scotland in the 1930s and she's actually a Fascist and proud supporter of Mussolini; to the degree that one of her students dies when Ms Brodie influences her to fight in the Spanish Civil War. She's also grooming one of her students to have an affair with the art teacher! One of her girls betrays her to the headmistress and gets her fired to protect anyone else from her influence. The film adaptation starring Maggie Smith amplifies things by having Jean dress in bold colours and be more attractive and charismatic than her literary counterpart.
  • Aristo in The Roman Mysteries in the tutor of the four main character. He doubles as a Hot Teacher.
  • Several mentors in Warrior Cats are seen as cool by their apprentices. Bluestar in particular was thought of as awesome by her student Firestar.
  • Miss Honey from Matilda (both the film and the book). Doubly so when you consider she's brave enough to teach in a school ruled by the aunt who horribly abused her and likely murdered her father.
  • Miss Temple from Jane Eyre is the only openly sympathetic teacher at Lowood School. She becomes one of Jane's good friends as Jane grows up. She was based on the one good teacher at the real life boarding school the Bronte sisters attended.
  • Main protagonist Lee Summerston in The Mako Saga is a college history professor and avid gamer, so much so that when he catches one of his students reading a magazine article on Mako Assault instead of paying attention to first-day orientation, he utterly schools the kid in his knowledge of the game, including advising him that he based his strategy to beat an early scenario on a historical battle... which is on such-and-such page of the textbook. The kid then realizes from Lee's mention that he's on the final level that he's "Daredevil", the leader of the current top-ranked team.
  • Ms. Wiz is this in her first appearance - as the teacher for Class Three. The class has a reputation for scaring their other teachers away, but of course Ms Wiz works her magic. She teaches them maths by having a pet owl that poos in a bin when they get the sum wrong, and gets them passionate about history to the point they re-enact a march from the French revolution in the playground. She resigns at the end of the first book but pops up in different jobs to help the children whenever it's needed.
  • Brutally deconstructed in My Dark Vanessa with Jacob Strane, a melancholy high school English teacher who swears freely, speaks stirringly about the significance of literature, and grooms at least one 15-year-old student into a sexual relationship with him while pursuing many others.
  • No Talking:
    • Math teacher Ms. Marlowe and language arts teacher Mr. Burton pick up on the no talking experiment, view it with interest, and try to be supportive. Mr. Burton even adapts his whole class to accommodate it (although he also sees it as a great research opportunity).
    • The flute teacher and karate sensei of two minor kids adapt quickly and calmly when they refrain from talking in their after-school lessons.
  • Operation Do-Over
    • Ms. Alexander (Mrs. Nekomis after her marriage) is encouraging and supportive of Mason and Ty's science projects. After she's accidentally injured during a fight between Mason and Ty prior to the time travel scenes, she doesn't blame Mason and unsuccessfully tries to keep him from being expelled over the school's zero tolerance policy toward harming teachers.
    • Coach Gallo usually puts a stop to Dominic's bullying and respects the effort Mason puts into football practice enough to compliment him over other more talented but less determined players.
  • Principal Ambrose Kleks from the polish Pan Kleks book and movie series is essentially a cross between Ms. Frizzle and Dumbledore.
  • Liv, Amelia's English teacher in Reconstructing Amelia. She's young, smart, funny, and gets along great with Amelia. She's also a subversion of the trope, as it turns out she's the one running a cruel gossip blog that spreads rumors about the students.
  • Special Topics In Calamity Physics: Hannah Schneider is a beautiful, charismatic and intriguing teacher who takes the "Bluebloods" under her wing, though the mysteries surrounding her might maker her less cool than she seems.
  • Susan Sto Helit counts, by Thief of Time. She takes her students on field trips to battlefields and other continents, and has bogeymen and Death himself come in to talk to them. Overlaps with Badass Teacher.
  • Head First tries to be this in book form, with unusual teaching methods, wacky antics, lots of memorable characters, silly clipart, dumb puns and everything else they can think of to make the lessons memorable.
  • Mr Gladly of Worm is a painful aversion. He wants to be the cool teacher, and spends so much time trying to be cool that he forgets to actually be a good teacher. Most notably he focuses on trying to be popular with the cool kids, even if that means deliberately turning a blind eye to the way the cool kids bully the uncool kids, even if it happens right in front of him.
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse: Mr. Slinger, who wears a different tie for every day of the week, brings tasty snacks for his class, and arranges desks in a semicircle.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gabe Kotter's unorthodox teaching approach has shades of the wisecracking Groucho Marx when he uses humor to help the Sweathogs, whom other teachers regard as a lost cause, as contrasted with stuffy Vice-Principal Woodman in Welcome Back, Kotter. It helps that Kotter used to be a student at the same school, and was in fact a Sweathog himself.
  • American Vandal: Steven "Mr. Kraz" Krazanski in the first season is a deconstruction. He's young, handsome and irreverent, speaking much like the teenage students during his Confession Cam interviews. He's also got that super-sweet informal nickname. However, his comments start becoming inappropriate, such as implying that he finds a student attractive and saying the school's coach "definitely roofies people." Instead of a cool teacher, he's really just immature and a bit of a creep. He gets fired for his inappropriate actions midway through the season, spending the rest of the season unemployed.
  • A repeated sketch in The Armstrong and Miller Show (the Channel 4 version) spoofed this. The skits starred a really Cool Teacher who would use his unorthodox teaching method and passion to teach life lessons and make sure his students get the most out of their education... until the bell would ring, at which point he would become the ultimate Apathetic Teacher, immediately pulling out a newspaper, sitting down and telling his students to "fuck off", in the process completely abandoning or even directly contradicting whatever message he'd been trying to teach mere seconds ago.
  • Bad Education: Alfie plays with this. He's young, funny, and genuinely cares about his students... he just can't teach for shit. Most of the episodes center around him either dragging his students into his latest harebrained idea, or trying to convince his superiors that he actually is teaching, even when he's clearly not. His students absolutely love him, though.
  • In Boy Meets World:
    • Mr. Feeny, despite occasionally coming off as a grumpy old man, proves that he genuinely cares about his students, and serves as a mentor as he teaches them throughout middle school, high school, and college.
    • Mr. Turner is an extreme example of this. He is young, rides a motorcycle, wears leather jackets, entwines pop culture into his lessons, and is really just very cool in general. He also becomes a parental substitute for Shawn, taking him in after he is abandoned by both of his parents.
    • In one episode Eric takes over teaching a citizenship class for immigrants and turns out to be a rather cool (and incredibly gifted) teacher himself.
    • Subverted in the episode "Everybody Loves Stuart" when they were in college. They had a "cool" young professor, played by Fred Savage (Ben's real-life older brother) . But the professor doesn't respect boundaries — he hits on Topanga in her dorm room. And when he admits it to Cory that he wasn't going to stop, it leads to Cory shoving him through the door.
  • In the Boy Meets World spinoff Girl Meets World:
    • Cory fulfills the role Mr. Feeny had in the original as his daughter's and her friends' teacher and mentor in and out of the classroom.
    • English teacher Harper Burgess is the Expy to Mr. Turner of the original series: young, motorcycle-riding, leather jacket-wearing, and using pop culture like comic books as aids to her lesson plans. When the principal tries to get her fired for not following protocol, Cory calls in Mr. Turner, who's now the School District Superintendent.
  • The Brady Bunch: How Peter tries to play up dull, old science teacher Mr. Price in "The Power of the Press." It doesn't work.
  • Mr. Futtstein from Clarissa Explains It All. Clarissa quotes him often, and everything she says about him makes him sound like the coolest teacher ever. Who else would give an assignment to watch TV for 24 hours straight to figure out how to improve it?
  • Doctor Who:
    • Ian Chesterton is a science teacher who is also a big fan of pop music, surprising Susan by knowing fanboy details about the charts in the first episode and dancing to The Beatles in "The Chase" (and the Telos novella Time and Relative). He's also young, friendly, handsome, and an Action Hero companion who travels through time, though not beyond teacher sarcasm.
    • Clara Oswald became one as of "Day of the Doctor". She teaches English, has a motorbike, is young and pretty and fashionable, and time travels (occasionally regaling her students with stories about her adventures, like that one time she found out how good a kisser Jane Austen was...). And she even calls her students "amateurs" for even thinking about asking for homework. Oh, and she occasionally gets called out of class by a secret paramilitary organization and the prime minister.
  • Dr. Dupree in The Famous Jett Jackson has elements of this. He seems to be your typical English teacher, but he does, on occasion, do something fun. In one episode, Jett screws up royally with his family, at school (by reading Poe's Raven to a rap beat, causing Dupree to shut him down and claim he's disrespecting the author), and friends. He then appears to end up in a "Groundhog Day" Loop. On his third iteration, he manages to get everything right. Then it turns out to have been All Just a Dream, except the first iteration, naturally. Except that things actually get better. His friend is no longer pissed at him, realizing he was right. His great-grandmother and his father admit they overreacted. At school, Dr. Dupree also admits that Jett's "performance" wasn't as bad as he initially thought. In his mind, Jett tried to mix Poe's poetry with the "urban poetry of rap", which was very popular with the students.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Syrio Forel, Arya's "dancing master", instructs her in both Braavosi swordfighting and advanced scenery-chewing.
    • Shireen Baratheon is a strict but fair one, who adapts her teaching material to the pupil in front of her when drawing up her lesson plans. Moreover, she strives to keep it above all interesting and applicable. No standard, dry religious texts of the See the Warrior Fight and the Smith Smith school of thought: break out the liveliest histories, poems, and legends along with stuff her pupils already are expected to know or use day-to-day.
  • Glee:
    • Mr. Schuester is definitely this. Bonus points for being one of the main characters in the show.
    • Emma Pillsbury also has shades of this; however, she's just the guidance counselor and is a tiny bit to occupied with her own problems.
    • Substitute teacher Hollie Holliday turned out to be a very cool teacher and was considered even cooler than Mr Shuester. However, she took it too far and let Mercedes sabotage Sue's car and was then unable to deal with the consequences.
  • In Hank Zipzer, Mr. Rock, a former rock musician turned music teacher, is generally regarded as the coolest teacher in the school by the entire student body (except Emily and McKelty. Not that he has a lot of competition for the title.
  • House of Anubis: Mr. Winkler was young, attractive and friendly. He was the one person willing to help Patricia find Joy, and even after his Face–Heel Turn, he still cared about the students. He let the students write and star in their own play, demanded Victor help them when Rufus had them hostage, and made sure to apologize to Patricia in a deleted scene. His reason for turning was a degenerative illness that required immortality to prevent, making him the most sympathetic and likable character in the Secret Society.
  • In My So-Called Life, a challenging but inspirational teacher has a brief stay at the school and seems to be the only teacher to care that Jordan can't read. Ultimately he's forced out when some skeletons in his personal life come to light, leaving his former students confused.
  • Although we don't see too much of her in action, Mary Margaret from Once Upon a Time is the one positive influence in Henry's life, and gave him his fairy tale book as a way of encouraging his imagination. Of course, in her past life she was Snow White - princess and Lady of War - taking this trope to a new level.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks is considered the most popular teacher at Madison High.
  • Person of Interest: Finch, posing as a substitute math teacher, explaining the number pi to a room full of bored high school students:
    ... Which means that contained within this string of decimals is every single other number. Your birth date, combination to your locker, your Social Security number. It's all in there somewhere. and if you convert these decimals into letters, you would have every word that ever existed in every possible combination. The first syllable you spoke as a baby, the name of your latest crush. Your entire life story from beginning to end. Everything we ever say or do... all of the world's infinite possibilities rest within this one simple circle. Now, what you do with that information... what it's good for... well, that would be up to you.
  • Bernard Hedges in the British TV series "Please Sir," who begins as a butt monkey but later achieves this status through his genuine dedication and fairness.
  • Dr. Thomas "Tommy" Oliver in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder. Careers prior to teaching include superhero (more consecutive years doing so than anyone else on the planet), professional race-car driver, and mad scientist (he helped to create robot dinosaurs). Won several martial arts competitions back when he was in school. Fit all of his college education, race car driving, and mad science career into seven years. Has finally cut his hair into a cool hairstyle.
  • Mrs. Quick from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She's frequently there to put a stop to Mr. Kraft's Sadist Teacher policies while also providing plenty of quirkiness herself.
  • On Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers played the titular Cool Teacher. On this occasion, however, he gets pushed aside by an even cooler teacher with a beanie hat, no tie, and hair like Garth from Wayne's World. Eventually, he was revealed to be a crotchety, bitter fellow teacher in a wig who was attempting to subvert Cool Teacher.
  • Saved by the Bell:
    • Rod Belding, although it's subverted in at least one episode when it turns out that he's such a flake, he's willing to ditch his students on a field trip to have a date with a stewardess. Mr. Belding tries to be the cool teacher, but is generally the Reasonable Authority Figure. It's only when a third party enters the scene that Belding really teams up with his students and lets his Cool Teacher flag fly.
    • In the original format, Good Morning Miss Bliss, the title character was this, treating her students with affection and respect; although she was strict when the occasion called for it, they enjoyed being around her and she was clearly good at her job. Sadly, when the series was retooled, the character was not, although she still appears in the occasional Flashback Episode which recycles the previous footage.
    • Miss Wentworth, who was Bayside High's Social Studies and subliminal advertising teacher could actually be considered as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Miss Bliss.
  • Inverted with the Mr. Goodman character of So Random!. His attempts at being cool usually result in bodily harm, and his students awkwardly asking for him to teach them normally.
  • Stranger Things: Mr. Clarke is actually something of a nerd, but he's knowledgeable in all the things the main cast of nerds like, so he's cool to them. He helps the kids out on many occasions.
  • That'll Teach 'Em is about 30 modern teenagers attending a simulated 50s or 60s style boarding school. This includes strict teachers who frequently insult their pupil's intelligence and punish them at the slightest sign of defiance. Mr Vince from series 1 and 2 stands out for being easygoing and friendly towards the students. He encourages his students to do well and compliments them when they deserve it. In Series 1, he leads the Combined Cadet Force by example, showing the students who to climb a wall, by doing it himself. Near the end of the term in Series 2, he even gave the students their first driving lessons, using his own car.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Changing of the Guard", Professor Ellis Fowler is a well respected and excellent teacher. Although he is a bit sarcastic, he means it in good fun. His students call him "Old Weirdbeard"; Fowler knows about this and is proud of the nickname.
  • Ultraman 80: The titular Ultra's human form, Takeshi Yamato, works as a teacher when not kicking ass. He's well-liked by the students, and spends several episodes bonding with his class, including visiting them after school to help them with personal troubles, starting a jazz band with his students, walk on his hands to entertain his class, and get into all sorts of wacky hijinks when off-duty. Twenty-five years later, his former students still hold him in high regard, and one of them has become a teacher hoping to live up to his example.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Alaric Saltzman. He's young, intelligent, and good-looking; also, in addition to being the school's history teacher, he's a badass vampire hunter.
  • In The Wonder Years episode "The Walkout" Mr.Tyler is this, encouraging the students to walk out to protest the Vietnam War. He folds in the face of authority Principal Diperna, but the students ( led by Kevin, by accident) walk out anyway.
  • In the Home Improvement episode “Ye Olde Shoppe Teacher”, Tim reconnects with his favorite high school metal shop teacher (who he say’s inspired him to pursue the career he did), the now retired and elderly Mr. Art Leonard. When Tim later invites him to appear as guest on Tool Time he finds out his former teacher now has crippling arthritis and isn’t able to make things the way he used to which is causing the man to feel much resentment and embarrassment.

  • Mrs. Diaz the homeroom teacher from Sequinox, who all the students adore. She also dressed as a Predator for Halloween.

    Video Games 
  • In non-mage Hawke playthroughs of Dragon Age II where Bethany joins the Circle, she's seen as this. Because of the exceptional magical education she received from her father, she rises very quickly through the ranks to become a senior enchanter by age 22, and becomes a teacher and mentor figure to several of the younger mages. She's also held in high regard by other adult mages and even by the Templars.
  • Hogwarts Legacy has Charms professor Abraham Ronen, a jovial man whose unorthodox teaching style often incorporated gameplay, namely one he created for students to practice the Summoning Charm Accio called "Summoner's Court". If the player chooses to speak to him outside of class he reveals that his own education was unpleasant and he wanted his students to remember their time fondly.
  • Mark Jefferson of Life Is Strange is shown as one as soon as the game begins. He was a fairly famous photographer in his own right before becoming a photography teacher at Blackwell (which was what motivated Max to return to her hometown and attend). He's relaxed enough to allow his students to take photos in class (even working Max taking a selfie into his lecture), encourages them all to enter the "everyday heroes" contest and sees through Victoria's brown nosing. Deconstructed when he's shown to be less than perfect in some ways; there are rumours he slept with Rachel Amber, he Victim Blames Kate for being drugged, and he's a Mad Artist who loves drugging students so he can photograph Break the Cutie moments, and shows up at the end of Episode 4 to drug Max and shoot Chloe dead to cover up his own involvement in Rachel's death and Kate's suicide attempt.
  • Yoko Sawa in Lost Judgment is seen as one by the students of Seiryo High. She's shown to be quite well-loved among the students, and she's also quite fast in learning about the bullying in her class.
  • Jack, the former Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, becomes this in Mass Effect 3 if she survived the previous game, to students at Grissom Academy.

    Visual Novels 
    • As a kindergarten teacher, Kyou is respected by all her students. Ushio in particular loves her and thinks of her as cool.
    • Sanae was this during her very brief stint as a teacher. She has experience at it; she was also a teacher long before the series takes place.
  • Kyojin Usami of Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!, while something of a Butt-Monkey and No-Respect Guy in-universe, is noted to be quite popular with his students due to his tendency to discard typical class lessons in favor of giving advice based on genuine life experience. He also serves as something of a mentor to main character Yamato while also being quite skilled at martial arts.
  • The protagonist of Melody is the cool music tutor to the title character, and optionally, to Sophia as well. He goes on outings with them (including parties), and he builds rapport during his lessons. Plus, he met a lot of famous musicians.

  • The Croaking: Professor Cepni, who puts a student making species-ist comments in her place. Later, she is one of the few teachers that is shown caring about what happened to Del, a student who suddenly disappeared without an excuse.
  • Weak Hero has Mrs. Lee from Byuksun Middle School. Whereas the homeroom teacher was a curmudgeon with a personal grudge against Gray and Stephen for making him look bad, Lee was always shown to support the boys and was vocally against the school's decision to cover up the circumstances behind Stephen's hospitalisation.

    Web Original 
  • Dumbbell is shaping up to be one in Ask Hoops and Dumbbell. He's only a student teacher, but it only takes him one day with his students to start wracking up Cool Teacher points.
  • DSBT InsaniT: When Teacher isn't teaching classes, she is working with bears!
  • In Lovelace ˝, Mr. Stone — Andi's mentor — is highly supportive of his students and tries to do his best by them. In Part 4, Andi describes him as buying into "the 'Dead Poets Society' thing."
    Mr. Stone: Are you kidding? No way. Robin Williams was a terrible teacher in that movie. Seriously, aphorisms and pep talks don’t teach Blake.
  • SCP-5094 is a Benevolent A.I. living in a discontinued 90's Edutainment Game, capable of turning anyone into a prodigy in their chosen field. Even children with learning disabilities or difficult personalities are enthralled by her amiable personality, and every one of her students becomes attached to her and disheartened by the conclusion of their lessons. A seven-year-old she turned into an expert in railway engineering had to be physically removed from the room, and a D-class she turned into an expert in law described her as the "best teacher he ever had".

    Western Animation 
  • Mr. Ratburn from Arthur is a double subversion. While a Stern Teacher, he's also cool in that he makes sure his students learn what they need to and also practice thinking for themselves. In addition, he has an affinity for stuff kids like, such as cartoons and cake (especially cake). He also makes puppets and uses them in shows. Later, he invites the entire class to his wedding.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
  • David Van Driessen from Beavis And Butthead has all the makings of one, being a supportive encouraging teacher who wants all his students to fulfill their full potential and even has the respect of the thuggish students like Earl. And at faculty meetings, he's also willing to stand up for the titular characters and defend them against Dean Bitterman Principal McVicker and Sadist Teacher Coach Buzzcut. However, despite all his cool teacher qualities, the real problem lies in the fact that pretty much all his efforts are wasted on Beavis and Butt-head, who never reciprocate his kindness and simply lack the level of humanity he's looking for in them.
  • Miss Finch on Birdz is generally supportive of Eddie. In one episode, she allows him to shoot a video essay instead of writing one, to support his love of filmmaking.
  • Calypso from Bluey. She is a kind and caring Hippie Teacher to her students, who is always patient with them, and encourages them to do their best.
  • Mr. Walker from Get Ace, a former rock-and-roll One-Hit Wonder who still acts the part after becoming a teacher. This is exploited by Ace in one episode, who takes advantage of Walker's easygoing attitude in order to get a pass for being late. In the episode where he quits in order to reignite his rockstar career, Ace and Gordon try to get him back.
  • Mr. Simmons of Hey Arnold! bounces between being this and a total idiot.
  • In the "Little Horrors of Shop" episode of King of the Hill, Hank, for a few days, becomes a substitute teacher like his wife Peggy. While she teaches Spanish, he taught shop. Unlike Peggy, Hank made such a good impression on his class that they actually fixed up the school under his supervision and came to his house seeking help for their projects after he was inadvertently fired over a rule about tools possibly being used as weapons. At an award ceremony for Best Substitute Teacher of the Year, Peggy accepted the award as "Mrs. Hank Hill" to an apathetic audience. But when Hank appeared on stage to give her her speech, the crowd applauded enthusiastically (even if Peggy egotistically believed they were cheering her on).
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Lio Oak job in the Burrow is as a schoolteacher. He passed his love of learning and science on to Kipo.
  • The Magic School Bus has Ms. Frizzle. She has a pet chameleon, her school bus can go anywhere in time or space, and nothing ever fazes her.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle becomes for the CMC, a special tutor who takes special time to help our favorite fillies find their true potential.
    • And Princess Celestia is one for Twilight in turn. Even if half the time she has to invoke Stern Teacher to bring Twilight back to her senses.
  • Recess:
    • One episode had a former student (and rival of Sadist Teacher Ms. Finster) return to the school to work as a teacher. By the end of the episode, he's reconciled his love of science with his aversion to being boring, and become one of these.
    • The mysterious Mr. E, a substitute teacher who initially comes off as a vicious Sadist Teacher but proves to be a stern but supportive authority figure who earns the students' respect, save for TJ who dislikes his harsh mannerisms.
    • Miss Grotke's a pretty cool teacher herself as well. She has a relaxed approach to life, meditates on a regular basis and was revealed in one episode to perform magic shows for the elderly. Also in the movie, she's also not afraid to unleash her martial arts skills on anyone who threatens her students.
  • Mr. Bergstrom from The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Substitute" is this for Lisa, to the point of her getting a crush on him.
  • Parodied in South Park with Mr. Cartmanez, in which Cartman acts like Mr. Escalante from Stand and Deliver to try to teach inner-city kids how to cheat in tests.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Quique is a teacher at the Starlight Room who teaches just about everything that's fun, such as dancing. He's also patient with his students.

    Real Life 
  • Purportedly, Something Awful Goon/high school science/forensics teacher Gene Splicer is this: "Who was the one who brought the maggots so the students could mess around with them? Me!" The other known teacher-goonette, English professor(?) Jidohabankai (this is almost certainly wrong) is more of a Sadist Teacher With A Heart Of Gold (she does terrible things to cell phones that dare to ring during class time).
  • Jaime Escalante, made famous by Edward James Olmos's portrayal in Stand and Deliver, was a Bolivian immigrant who came to Los Angeles to teach computer literacy at an inner city school. But when he arrived, there were no computers, so instead he started teaching math, including starting an AP Calculus class. Despite numerous naysayers, his AP class consistently had the highest test passage rate in the country (so high that at one point they were investigated for cheating, but were exonerated). He was so beloved by his students that they stole his car in order to fix it up for him (many of his successful students were former delinquents). On the side, he taught remedial math and an English class for immigrants at night.
  • Bob Ross. To this day, he remains synonymous with making art, in particular painting, look cool.


Video Example(s):


Great Teacher Bob

Bob had trouble connecting to his students at first but wins them over by making kettle corn for them and now he's cool.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolTeacher

Media sources: