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Stern Teacher

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"Transfiguration is some of the most complicated and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter

For the Evulz? Not on their watch.

Unlike a Sadist Teacher, the Stern Teacher is always "tough but fair": a person who's got high expectations but is ultimately a Reasonable Authority Figure. The students might not be too fond of them personally, but they always respect them in the end and often achieve the best results in education (which does make it Truth in Television). While cold and aloof at first glance, a stern teacher truly loves and cares for their students deep beneath and genuinely wants them to succeed in the best way possible at life.

Teachers of this type are firm believers of You Are Better Than You Think You Are, but, befitting their just-yet-harsh nature, they will always use the more firm version of the aforementioned trope.

Interestingly, in cases where a good teacher is forced by circumstances to teach their own child or other younger relative, they will adopt this persona to a greater degree with their relative than with the other kids, as an (over) reaction to the Embarrassing Relative Teacher stereotype.


Dmitry Vladimirovich Beklemishev, a near-legendary figure at MIPT (roughly, the Russian equivalent of MIT) once said in an interview that he tried many personas on during his long teaching career and found this one to be the most effective for the purpose of doing a superb job.

Sergeant Rock is the military version of this. Compare also with Tough Love.


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  • In one ad, a runner recalls his coach, who was never fully satisfied with his performance, telling him "You can do better" after a practice run. When the runner finally succeeds, his coach isn't surprised, and says "I knew you had it in you."

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sebastian from Black Butler is shown to be this in flashbacks.
  • Doraemon: Mr. S is a strict teacher who often punishes Noby for failing his tests, being late to school, or forgetting his homework which range from standing in the hallway to sweeping the classroom after-school. The Running Gag is extended to the point that if Noby simply meets the teacher in the streets, usually during holidays, Mr. S will have Noby admonished for his lack of school performance.
    • Defied in "Soap Bubbles". When Noby sees Mr. S, he realizes that Mr. S will be stern about his assignments. Noby defies this by using the Soap Bubble Straw to make Mr. S sad and willing to take the blame.
  • Maria Graceburt from Mai-Otome intimidates most of the students (and even Headmistress Natsuki, in the manga), but she always makes sure that the rules are followed and that all students are treated fairly.
  • Kalos Eido from Kaleido Star walks the wire between this and Sadist Teacher.
  • Nozomu Itoshiki of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. Once you get past the fact that he's so depressed and suicidal. He can act harsh sometimes but it's never because he bears any malice towards his class, he just wants them to understand the bleakness of the real world. Also, per the trope, he's loved (sometimes a bit too much) by all of his students (except Kaere... and that's only halfway, since Kaere's Split Personality, Kaede, is in love with him too).
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The title character of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers. Justified, since she's essentially a drill sergeant who habitually makes friends by beating the tar out of them.
    • Vita's a better example. While Nanoha balances a grueling training regimen with her cheerful, affable nature, (even letting the recruits call her by her first name) Vita, by her own admission, hardly ever compliments the students and is quite quick to berate them for their mistakes or what she sees as stupidity, but at the same time, cares deeply for their development and is described as kind at heart. Unforgettable is how she verbally trashes Teana after trying something way too dangerous that would almost have hurt her partner Subaru.
  • Lucrezia Noin from Gundam Wing, to the Academy cadets she was in charge of at the beginning. She was a borderline Drill Sergeant Nasty to them in training, but also comforted a dying young man when Wufei bombed their dorms and took the attack on them very seriously.
  • Ms Nanako Kuroi of Lucky Star fits the stern but fair type: she understands what it's like to be a student, but has a job to do. She's not the most mature teacher out there, but nobody's perfect.
  • Ryonan's coach Moichi Taoka from Slam Dunk.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Nitta is generally shown acting like this. It's partially subverted later on, as outside of class activities he's actually a pretty nice guy.
    • Fate Averruncus becomes this when he takes over 3-A's class. Fans have described him basically as a Trolling Teacher.
  • One of the teachers in Azumanga Daioh is this kind of teacher, scolding the entire class for not doing their homework, but deciding to go easy on Chiyo-chan because she is younger and obviously scared by his style of teaching. He only appears once, leaving Yukari, Nyamo and Kimura to be the main three teachers in focus during the show.
  • Austria of Axis Powers Hetalia was one of these, particularly towards Chibitalia, giving "her" plenty of hard work to do. But Austria isn't all that bad, as he did allow Chibitalia a day off when "her" first love Holy Roman Empire had left and he saw that Chibitalia had tears in "her" eyes... and willingly took up "her" share of work.
  • Izumi Curtis in Fullmetal Alchemist is the embodiment of this trope. She becomes almost like a replacement mother to Ed and Al.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Piccolo when he eventually warmed up to Gohan (who admitted he was a better teacher than Goku, who was too soft). No such luck with Goten and Trunks though, since by the time he had to train them up they were in the middle of the Buu crisis.
    • Goku did get a bit better about being too soft after he'd experienced becoming a Super Saiyan. Compare Goku's utter lack of training methods in the Saiyan Saga, to him training Gohan in the Cell Saga, then him perfecting it right around when he begins to train Uub.
  • My Hero Academia has Shota Aizawa, aka "Eraserhead", one of the pro heroes teaching at UA Academy. Initially played off as a Sadist Teacher who threatens under-performing students with expulsion, he is actually a very fair mentor who nonetheless will chew out any pupil who steps out of line.
  • Coach Kamogawa from Hajime no Ippo is a very grumpy old man who's not above hitting his boxers (especially Takamura) for screwing around. He's still a good guy that cares very deeply about them.
  • Moriaki-sensei of Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru. Unfortunately for him, he's the homeroom teacher of Hotori Arashiyama.
  • Shrogane-sensei from Mahoraba is also a mix of this and slightly Sadist Teacher since whenever someone forgets their homework, they are taken to a different room.
  • The Principal from Yandere Kanojo. Has no problem with hitting (or, hell, brainwashing) delinquents, but treats everyone who follow rules nicely (even "redeemed" delinquents) and being fair toward all of his students.
  • Naruto gives us Iruka Umino, the Big Brother Mentor of the title character in his youth. He has no problem berating his students, but it's always for laziness and mischief. When he sees hard work, he never fails to acknowledge and praise it.
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya: Sagami, though she admits that Kaguya performs better when not in her lessons.
  • Karasuma from Assassination Classroom is a very strict teacher but his students actually like him for it and he in turn cares for them very much.
  • In Shokugeki no Soma, most of the Tootsuki teachers and staff set very high standards for passing, but are also fair to students who come from non-prestigious backgrounds or use unorthodox cooking methods. Though the new staff after Azami Nakiri's takeover aren't as open-minded.
  • Bloom Into You:
    • Riko Hakozaki is polite, serious and no-nonsense. She insists on being called "Hakozaki-sensei," rather than "Riko-sensei," will assign extra classes to students who don't make the grade, and frequently takes the opportunity to remind students of their obligations, but those who respect and obey her generally get along well with her. It's implied that this may be out of concern over how she presents herself professionally, since she keeps the fact that she's in a relationship with another woman firmly under wraps.
    • The director of the theater troupe Touko joins is shown to be fairly strict, and intimidates Touko enough that she refers to the older woman as a "demon" once. That said, she is said to be strict with people she believes has potential.
  • Gouri-sensei from Torako, Anmari Kowashicha Dame da yo is a teacher in a Dustbin School full of delinquents, so it's no surprise that he's strict. Yet, even as he opens his classes with things like "Sit down, fuckers!" and openly calls his students morons, he acknowledges that there are serious students among them and when Torako tells him I Just Want to Have Friends, he tries to help by suggesting she join a club. When Torako's Lethal Klutz tendencies turn that into a massive failure, Gouri makes the Pet Raising club take her on threat of disbandment. That said, he is accused, not entirely inaccurately, of foisting Torako on someone else after the failures before.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Kaguya tends to be very harsh when she tutors Ishigami (to the point that he initially thought she was trying to torture him), though she does have his best interests at heart and his grades significantly improve under her mentorship.
  • Shirai-sensei from Kodomo no Jikan is introduced warning her students that if they stand up or speak out in class, she'll inform their parents of their "irresponsible behavior". This makes Kuro form a mild crush on her, and then said crush starts her on the Defrosting Ice Queen path.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Slowy's serum in episode 2 is meant to give any object it touches the personality of a strict teacher. Unfortunately, it turns the objects it touches outright violent towards the goats instead.

  • Child of the Storm has the canonical example of Professor McGonagall, while the sequel adds Magneto as a slightly softer variant - he's an excellent teacher who's not only brilliant but capable of explaining his lessons to someone without multiple degrees in the hard sciences, but innovative in his training methods, opening Harry's mind to the potential of his abilities. He's somewhat brusque during lessons, expects a lot of Harry (because he knows he's able), and doesn't hesitate to point out Harry's mistakes, but softens the criticism with praise where he feels it is deserved.
  • In Savior of Demons, there's Mr. Taarun, who was shown in one scene to be a young Frieza's tutor/mentor.
  • Subverted in The Thorny Rose 2: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow by Occlumency tutor Madam Hagen. During her introductory meeting she came off as, according to Harry, "a cross between McGonagall and an East German shot-putter" but was much kinder and more personable during Harry and Ginny's first lesson.
  • Lady Sho from Kyoshi Rising; she constantly calls Kyoshi an "idiot girl", gives Kyoshi vague instructions on performing tasks (and then hits Kyoshi with her fans or thrown sticks if Kyoshi gets the task wrong/questions the task), and keeps Kyoshi relatively isolated from the rest of the world. However, her training does produce results, and Kyoshi is able to learn quickly and win some respect from the master.
  • Monster X in The Bridge is this while teaching Aria Blaze how to use the powers she's gained that are similar to his. His method of making sure she has good control of her human form's body includes running her through full-contact sparring, where he lectures her about how to improve during the bought. He also infuriatingly refuses to give into her demands to be taught about the energy projection side of being a Gravity Master, taking it in steps. However, the training does work to get her to understand the powers and vastly improves her fighting technique.
  • Dr. Curt Connors in Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With The Light teaches classes that are highly sought after by Empire State University students because of how well he explains the material and how good an instructor he is. However, he also has high expectations of his classes and isn't shy about telling students when he thinks they aren't applying themselves. Mary Jane Watson runs into this problem when her Triple Shifter responsibilities keep her from studying as much as she wants. On the other hand, once she organizes things better and can focus more on her studies, she does much better and Dr. Connors praises her improved effort.
  • In Azumanga und Panzer, Ami Chouno becomes this, even though she could charitably be described as hands-off in Girls und Panzer. She demands that everyone on the Oarai tankery team pass all classes with high marks, but offers to help anyone who's struggling.
  • In One Year, Chihiro Takizawa, who's Yu's homeroom teacher at his old school, as well as club advisor for the drama club, is this. She's strict and serious, and requires her own niece to show her the same respect as everyone else does. She also takes her job seriously and practices what she preaches by working hard, dressing professionally and being courteous to the students.
  • In Necessary To Win, Masae Atago, while nowhere near as strict as Shiho Nishizumi, is serious and no-nonsense, expecting her students to meet her standards, obey her and show her the appropriate professional respect. That said, once her students have proved themselves, she's willing to relax her standards a little as appropriate.
  • In Professor Arc: Student of Vacuo, Jaune is very personable and friendly outside of class. During class however, he's strictly no-nonsense and doesn't hesitate to point out (and exploit) his students weaknesses, such as making the four most combative members of teams RWBY and RAVN work together to capture a superior opponent. After his first class, the highest average grade for any team is only a 70%, but he does take the time to make sure each team knows what they did wrong and how to improve.

  • Hardscrabble from Monsters University, is a Stern Head Dean. She expressed a great deal of Tough Love to the lead characters, mostly because she didn't believe in their potential. However, in the ending she tells them that while she has to expel them for their antics, they did manage to pleasantly surprise her and hopes that they continue doing so.
  • Dong-ju from Korean film Punch, who is gruff and insulting with his students, and doesn't hesitate to use Corporal Punishment, but clearly cares about them and wants them to do well.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Minerva McGonagall is so strict that she tends to subtract more points from her own students when they do wrong because she holds them to higher standards. She's also so beloved that Harry is able to summon up the hatred necessary to perform the Cruciatus Curse when Amycus Carrow spits in her face, which is something he couldn't even do when his own father-figure was killed.
    • Madame Hooch is another, mostly forgotten example. As her subject (broom-flying) is so dangerous, the penalty for breaking rules in her class is expulsion. Not point loss or detention. Expulsion.
      Madame Hooch: [movie version] If I see any brooms flying around while I'm gone you'll be out of Hogwarts faster than you can say 'Quidditch'.
    • Depending on the student, Severus Snape varies from "stern" to "bully". He is fair but still strict towards Slytherins, a bit meaner to Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, nearly falls over into Sadist Teacher for Gryffindors, and bloody well swan-dives off into the black wherever Harry, Hermione, Neville, or Ron are concerned.
  • Susan Sto Helit from the Discworld novels becomes one of these in Thief of Time, contrasting highly with the wishy-washy other teachers at Madame Frout's school. Having cool powers probably helps.
    • Teachers at the Assassins' Guild School, with the exception of the odd sadist and the hapless Mr Lamister, tend to fall into this category. Miss Alice Band, who sends her disciplinary cases out to target Sam Vimes and thereby learn humility, is a typical example.
  • Mr. Perboni from the Italian novel Heart by Edmondo D'Amici. He scares the crap outta male lead Enrico and the other kids when he comes into the classroom, but his fatherly behavior towards them makes him very well-loved soon.
  • Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie subverts the trope all to hell, specifically the "tough but fair" part. Miss Brodie deliberately designates one of her girls as a "stupid" victim, marking her for life. She's a charming, intelligent, and vivacious fascist.
  • Melissa "The Schoolmarm from Hell" Mailey in Eric Flint's 1632 series. Her tough-but-fair approach is lampshaded at one point with a complaint to the effect of, "Who cares about 'fair?' So she makes us all read this crap equally and with no favoritism! Big deal." Also once made then-teenaged roughneck Harry Lefferts write "I will not be a smartass in front of a way smarter teacher" 200 times on the blackboard; an older Lefferts later admitted, "I was being a smartass, and she is smarter than me."
  • Prince Nigel Haldane, Duke of Carthmoor in the Deryni novels of Katherine Kurtz. The "Iron Duke" trains the pages in the royal household, and he's generally called "tough but fair". With pages in a royal hunting party in Deryni Rising: "No, no, no," Nigel was saying. "If you ever address an earl simply as 'Sir' in public, he'll have your head, and I won't blame him. And you must always remember that a bishop is 'Your Excellency.' Now, Jatham, how would you address a prince of the royal blood?" In The King's Justice, he's shown training two young pages in the rudiments of riding, catching one boy by his tunic and belt when he falls and putting him back on the warhorse: "They [Kelson, Morgan and Dhugal] could not hear what Nigel said to the lad, though his words brought an immediate flush of scarlet to the downy cheeks."
  • Xanthos, nicknamed Xanthippos, from Detectives in Togas. But even if he scolds the boys permanently, he's still on their side, always.
  • At Tyentyetnikov's school in Dead Souls. Sadly, this great teacher passed away before Tyentyetnikov would do his courses, which is blamed for his incompetence in life.
  • The Fat Controller from The Railway Series is more of a Stern Controller. He reprimands the engines for their accidents (intentional or even unintentional), and would punish them for rudeness, arrogance, or other habitual vices, but he does care for the engines and always makes sure they to do their best.
  • Stan Alto from Vampire Academy, instructor in Bodyguard Theory, is stern but ultimately fair. He presses students, especially Rose, hard and does not let misbehavior slide. He also acts as if constantly pissed off, but praises achievement when it occurs.
  • Broxholm, the titular alien teacher in My Teacher Is an Alien, is this way in his human guise, "Mr. Smith". He is very boring, no-nonsense, and hates music. It turns out in later books that his ultimate mission is to help redeem humans of their violent tendencies.
  • In Dragon Bones, Aunt Stala is this. She's a fighting instructor, but not a military one, she's just the head of the castle guard. Her nephew Ward is quite exhausted after fighting her, and that says a lot, as he's a Gentle Giant and has to bow down for her to kiss him goodbye. She's stern, but not unnecessary cruel. (Using the sand-throwing trick in fights is necessary cruelty, after all, a real enemy would use it, too)
  • Governess Miss Minton from Journey to the River Sea is the embodiment of this trope. When she first meets protagonist Maia, she tells her the story of how she broke her umbrella on the back of a boy. When asked why, she explains that he tortured a puppy. Maia agrees that he had it coming, and they become good friends, as Maia is eager to learn, and doesn't protest (much) against Miss Minton's insistence that she stick to her learning routine even while seasick on a ship.
  • In The Sorceress's Orc, the titular sorceress is this. She doesn't have much patience with lazy students, but if someone wants to attack her students, then only over her dead body. It's a good thing the titular orc is there to protect her.
  • In The Witchlands, Mathew is a very stern tutor to Safi, to the point that he's the only person in the world (and that's including actual Empresses) around whom she doesn't act like The Gadfly. He's also her bodyguard and her uncle's spymaster.
  • Dirty Bertie:
    • Bertie has a teacher named Miss Boot who is quite shouty and intimidating, but not evil.
    • Averted for the substitute teacher Mr Weakly, although Bertie did act strict when pretending to be Mr Weakly once.
    • Downplayed for Miss Darling, Angela's teacher, who has her stern moments but is mainly very upbeat.
  • Miss Nelson is Missing: A very nice teacher with an unmanageable class suddenly goes AWOL from her class for a period, and the class celebrates... until the mean, hard-nosed Viola Swamp takes over as substitute. The class is ultimately so grateful when Miss Nelson returns that they shape up and start behaving better. At the very end, we discover that Ms. Swamp was actually Miss Nelson in disguise.
  • Ratburger: Zoe's teacher Miss Midge is stern, short, and obsessed with dark history.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: At Madison High School, Miss Enright, Miss Brooks' personal and professional rival, is always described by Miss Brooks and others as a very competent teacher. However, she appears to be much stricter than Miss Brooks. In "Stretch the Basketball Star", the episode introducing Dumb Jock Stretch Snodgrass, Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin plot to have the student athlete moved to Miss Brooks' class. They view "old lady Enright" as being unsympathetic.
  • Drake & Josh
    • Mrs. Hayfer can be this and Sadist Teacher. She's is very kind to Josh who is a good student, but treats Drake with enormous contempt for his lazy behavior, and openly dislikes him.
    • Mr. Roland is an extremely strict chemistry teacher who will lock you out of class if you are even a second late. When Drake made Josh late for a test, he didn't even care for Josh's excuses and told him he would take the test on a weekend and be marked down a letter grade. However, when Josh completely aces the test, he doesn't mark him down. And despite not caring about Drake's personal problems, he lets Josh talk his problems out with Drake after he reaches his breaking point.
  • Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.
    • Mr. Turner seems to be this at first when he gives the kids a tough assignment, causing Cory to call him "Feeny with an earring." He mellows out into a Cool Teacher, however.
  • The CBBC gameshow Raven's titular character is this. He's pretty stern, makes his "students" (so to speak) jump off high trees, swim through freezing lakes, and solve riddles and puzzles, pits them against "demons," and if one's unlucky enough to be in last place they have to go through what can only be described as the lovechild of Scrappy Level and Nintendo Hard. If they do well, however, he praises them and treats those who have to leave with dignity.
  • Ms. Kwan from Degrassi: The Next Generation fits this role. She's very stern, not letting any talking in the class go uninterrupted (her interjections are sometimes humiliating), taking Spinner's Walkman from him (and breaking it in the process), and other similar things. Spinner and Jimmy grow tired of it in Season 1, and play a series of pranks that escalate quickly and end with Ms. Kwan taking a leave of absence. Eventually the two learn that her husband was very sick at the time, and come to realize that even their teachers are humans. Ms. Kwan and Spinner have a friendly relationship after she returns that lasts the rest of the series (even after Spinner is forced to retake her class). As time goes on, we discover that, despite her stern nature, she cares about her students very much and often is quite lenient, bending the rules to allow students extensions or do-overs quite often. Plus, her class is very creative and involves much creative writing and performing plays and scripts.
    • It looks as though "Snake" Simpson has been pushed into being this in Season 10 by students' behavior in the first couple of months of his principalship. Hate-crime assault, a spiralling vendetta leading uncomfortably close to attempted murder, and near-prostitution and rape (the last three on the same night) will do that.
  • The title character in the Japanese drama 3-Nen B-Gumi Kinpachi-sensei.
  • Mr Sullivan from Press Gang.
  • Mr. Sweeny from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide is this and a Sadist Teacher depending on the episode, though as the series goes on he leans more towards this trope.
  • Most of the teachers in iCarly, especially Howard and Briggs, fits this trait but they’re not necessarily evil because they apparently there are lows they won’t go unlike some of the others does.
  • Subverted in the Key & Peele "Substitute Teacher" sketch. Mr. Garvey, the title character, is a veteran inner-city teacher shown taking over a class of bored, mostly white suburbanites. He reads their names off the roll as if they were Ghetto Names (inverting that trope in the process), and gets extremely confrontational when the students gently correct him, even sending one to the principal's office, assuming that they're just giving him attitude.
  • Prof. Loftus in Doctor in the House has a strict, no-nonsense approach to teaching medicine, as he takes it very seriously and demands that anyone planning to become a doctor do likewise. In the episode "It's All Go..." he paralyses nervous student Michael Upton with terror by shouting that if he cannot answer an anatomy question correctly, his (imaginary) patient will bleed to death in 30 seconds. However, he recognises talent when he sees it, and privately admits to one of Upton's fellow students that he is so hard on him to make him rise to the challenges of becoming a doctor, if only to show him up.
  • Professor Kingsfield is the law school equivalent in the TV series adaptation of The Paper Chase. He is relentless but fair, even advising a student who wanted to take his teaching position when he retired to actually practice law and get real world experience first.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Septa Mordane though only towards Arya, due to the girl's complete lack of interest in the feminine duties the woman is trying to teach her. She is more of The Mentor towards the more willing to learn Sansa.
    • Shireen is not exactly this, but she is very insistent about teaching Ser Davos to read.
      Shireen: You're late...I thought you weren't coming.
      Davos: The Hand of the King doesn't have much leisure time.
      Shireen: You won't be a very good Hand if you see the word "knight" and say "ka-nigit".
      Davos: That happened once, weeks ago. You're your father's daughter, no mistake. Bloody relentless, the both of you.
      Shireen: [handing him a book] It's a new one today. Lots of tricky words. But I think you can manage. [Davos begins reading, lips moving] You'll never read well if you move your lips. That's how children do it.
  • House himself in House, the few times he actually shows up to teach med students. Goes along with being a Dr. Jerk misanthrope, really. Though as he notes with Brutal Honesty, being a medical professional requires it:
    House: It is in the nature of medicine that you are going to screw up. You are going to kill someone. If you can't handle that reality, pick another profession or finish medical school and teach.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Mrs. Olsen from Frazz is this underneath her general meanness.
  • Dr. Ting (Paige's biology teacher) from FoxTrot. Also, Peter's unnamed physics teacher.
  • Clara Godfrey from Big Nate runs a tight ship and has zero tolerance for the title character's antics, but seems to have a good relationship with her other students. Nate sees her as a Sadist Teacher, naturally.
  • Miss Wormwood form Calvin and Hobbes, although from Calvin's viewpoint she's a Sadist Teacher.

  • In episode three of Mystery Show, one of Hans Jordi's students described him as a relentless perfectionist, which made the sight of his cowboy casualwear quite a surprise.


    Video Games 
  • Instructor Aki in Final Fantasy VIII will lower a SeeD's rank when they're caught committing an offense within Balamb Garden. There's a reason why most players would miss him the entire game. Slightly subverted in that nobody likes him.
  • Aoi Matsumura seems to be the only teacher at Kisaragi School to take her job seriously.
  • Raine Sage in Tales of Symphonia is noted for being cool, strict, and practical, and even smacking her students around when they're being particularly stupid. Which makes it a very sweet moment when, late in the game, she admits that she's so hard on the hero in particular because she knows he's strong enough to handle it, and wants to see him grow up strong.
  • Serah becomes one between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, at least that's how she's described by the kids of New Bodhum. You actually get to see her display a bit of this during the story, where she gives a stern lecture to miniflan after beating them in battle in the Sunleth Waterscape 400 AF.
  • Duncan in Dragon Age: Origins, which can even be invoked by the Warden mentioning that their first impression of him was that "he's firm, but fair". However, it's also shown on a few occasions that Duncan does occasionally let his humour show through.
  • If she survives Mass Effect 2, Jack becomes this in Mass Effect 3. In this case, her crass but extremely protective nature and pride in her students, despite her tough teaching style and light ribbing, makes her absolutely adored by them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Himuro Reiichi in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1 is very stern indeed - in addition to being the protagonist's homeroom and math teacher, he's also the advisor of the school's brass band, and where any other club will allow you to miss two mandatory practices, Himuro will kick you out if you miss even one. True to the trope, though, he's also genuinely committed to helping his students learn and takes real pleasure in seeing them succeed, which is one of the reasons (the other being his good looks and sexy voice) that he's so popular at Habataki High School in spite of his strictness.
  • Kuzuki of Fate/stay night. It's noted that he plays an excellent balance to Taiga. Unfortunately, he's also an assassin at heart (if not practice... possibly) and the Master of Caster, so he only survives in one route. Where he isn't even revealed.
  • Professor Conrad Schuyler in Shall We Date?: Wizardess Heart defaults in manner to blunt and sardonic; he's quick to criticize his students' failings, and reacts with exasperation to the protagonist's repeated magical mishaps. Prefect Klaus Goldstein is also well on his way. On his route, he appoints himself the protagonist's personal drill instructor with the object of making sure she qualifies as a student to the Wizarding School, and though he's a merciless taskmaster he genuinely wants her to improve and his methods of instruction are consistently helpful. Despite being promised a position in the Bureau of Magical Justice on graduation, when Headmaster Randolph suggests that he could instead become a teacher, Klaus reacts with the open glee of someone who's just been offered the keys to the candy store.

  • Professor Dominic Deegan, during his short stint as a teacher. He warmed up a bit, too, after he learned his vision/prediction that half of his students would drop his class didn't come to pass, and actually gained a new student in the process.
  • Mr Raven in El Goonish Shive is an extreme example, to the point where he initially came across as a Sadist Teacher. What keeps him in this category is that he doesn't arbitrarily pick on students because he dislikes them (in fact, the students he's hardest on are the ones he thinks have the greatest potential), he attempts to do what's right for his students (not always correctly, such as thinking Grace needed to be in a remedial class) and he will defend the school and its occupants with his life, if necessary.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Ensi Hotakainen's brief appearance in a flash-back has her forbidding a young Lalli that she's taking with her for training for the first time from touching her rifle, and threatening to leave him back if he does anything without her explicit permission. Since she's teaching him magic and scouting for fast-moving monsters, the strong discipline is likely to be the best chance she has to keep Lalli alive during his training.
  • Voldemort's Children: As a Deconstruction Fic of Harry Potter, this comes up with Minerva McGonagall, who applies the same uncompromising standards and teaching methods to every student, regardless of whether they're a privileged pureblooded wizard or were raised by Muggles in ignorance with severe learning disabilities. The Rant observes that "stern, but fair" can be a euphemism for "neglectful of their students' needs". It's actually a case of the author completely missing the point, as Mc Gonagall is talking about her standards for punishment (i.e. Purebloods and Muggleborns will be marked off equally for misbehavior), not for education.

    Web Originals 
  • Several teachers at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Mr. Ramirez, who teaches intro Spanish; Dr. Yablonsky, who teaches the lab for Powers Theory and has been likened to a forcibly-retired Batman as a teacher; ... All these people were probably really tough superheroes in their prime. The martial arts teachers, too, especially Ito-sensei, who seems to be one of those teachers that really pushes his students' limits. And he's a Badass Normal who can kick most of his superpowered students' asses.
  • Glynda Goodwitch from RWBY. Blunt and direct to her students and even her boss, any praise she gives you will likely be followed by some... constructive criticism.
    • Bartholomew Oobleck may buzz around history like a hummingbird while drinking a cup of coffee— but don't screw around in his class. He will not be happy.
    • Winter turns out to be this to Weiss. She Dope Slaps Weiss whenever she feels her younger sister is being silly, and in Weiss' Volume 5 trailer, she tests Weiss by throwing a horde of summoned Beowolves at her and then disarming her with a blast of ice; she only stops the training when Weiss is pinned to the floor, visibly terrified and cries out for Winter to stop, then steps in and coldly admonishes Weiss and reminds her that she won't always be around to save her; a telling contrast when compared to Yang's trailer, where she saves Ruby from a huge Grimm and lovingly tells her that she'll always be there for her little sister.

    Western Animation 
  • Some of Code Lyoko's teachers could count as this:
    • Mrs. Hertz, Mrs. Mayer, Mrs. Kensington for the female teachers.
    • Mr. Fumet, Mr. Delmas, and Jim for the male teachers. Chardin's the only exception.
  • Headmistress from ¡Mucha Lucha!
  • Mr. Ratburn from Arthur was one of these, though the stories about him before we meet him make him out to be a Sadist Teacher. Several episodes of the show, most notably the one where his sister, a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher, substitutes for him, show how having a stern teacher can (sometimes) be a good thing. Dr. Fugue, Arthur's piano teacher, was also thought as a Sadist Teacher but was this trope instead. It showed again when he taught Arthur's music class.
  • Mr. Barkin in Kim Possible seems to be somewhere between this and Sadist Teacher; no one thinks he's really that bad of a guy, but they wish he'd be less of a hardass.
  • Ms. Choksondik in South Park, although her students walk all over her at first. Also, Mr. Mackey.
  • Mr. Lancer in Danny Phantom, though he seemed biased towards the football team, his extra tutoring for Danny proved he did care.
  • Doug: Mrs. Wingo, "You're knocking on trouble's door."
    • Same with Mr. Bone—though at first glance he seemed like a Sadist Teacher, he was more of this than that. You just need to catch him on his good side. He recognized that kids often need a firm hand, but was also willing to listen to reason when it was pointed out to him, and given that Principal Buttsavich was nowhere to be seen Mr. Bone often had his hands full. In "Doug Battles the Rulemeister", Bone, an assistant principal mind you, points out that since he's at a higher position than him, Buttsavich can talk about him with or without his knowledge or present, implying he can overrule a decision by a staff member, Bone included, depending on the situation. Doug uses this knowledge when Bone catches him making fun of him in a comic. However, it's returned after Doug is informed that he broken a rule. While Bone may be viewed as harsh, he admits that he too is subject to the same school rules as Doug, his classmates, and the teachers. This could also imply Buttsavich could be subject it to them as well, although it's unclear since he's never seen.
  • Dr. Pappas from Growing Up Creepie: He's always spying on Creepie and the other students at Middlington Middle School. Dr. Pappas never cuts anybody a break if they're late turning in a class assignment or home work. Dr. Pappas is a stickler for rules. Though strict he has shown he does care for his students, especially Creepie a.k.a. Miss Creecher.
  • Master Pakku in Avatar: The Last Airbender is this to all of his students. So are Toph and Zuko to Aang. The episode "Bitter Work" best illustrates Toph' of teaching.
    • The Fire Nation schoolteacher from "The Headband" will send you to the salt mines if you misbehave but that is not his goal. His goal is to create bright and patriotic students.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Vice Principal Riczynski is a very strict man, and isn't too fond of the teenage robot in his school, but he is fair in dealing out punishment.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Kaeloo takes on the role of one in the episode "Let's Play Teachers".
    • Another episode showed that in an Alternate Universe, Kaeloo's counterpart is a very strict teacher who forces people to study all the time.


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