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Toasting TV’s Top Teacher

The race for TV’s most beloved and popular make-believe teacher is on

The sight of actors gratefully accepting their Emmy Awards on Sunday inspired the NEA Today staff to conduct a landmark--and admittedly unscientific--online election naming TV’s top teacher of all time.

So, we ask you to vote one time for one teacher. There are no categories. Our poll watchers will not distinguish between characters acting serious or acting the clown.  Should wise-cracking Gabe Kotter (Welcome Back, Kotter) take top honors? Or compassionate Marla Hendricks (Boston Public)? Was Edna Garrett (Facts of Life) a teacher, and should Principal Richard Belding (Saved by the Bell) be included? It’s your call.

Pete Dixon (Room 222) gets the vote of Laura Linder, co-author of the book, Teacher TV: Sixty Years of Teachers on Television.

“He wasn’t a comic, but he had a sense of humor,” she says. Linder’s co-author, Mary Dalton, chose Roland "Prez" Prezbylewski from The Wire’s fourth season, which focused on Baltimore’s public school system.

“I am most intrigued by teachers on TV who want to make a difference but find it more difficult than they ever imagined,” Dalton says. See our interview with Dalton and Linder, and join the discussion on your favorite school bus driver, custodian, or other education support professional featured in prime time.

To vote, select a TV teacher from our shamelessly biased and inconclusive list below, or write in your favorite. The winner will be announced in the next online issue of NEA Today Express.


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