The Best Teachers in Literature

5th October is UNESCO World Teacher’s Day; the perfect day to remember and even to express our appreciation for those teachers who have made a difference to our lives. I was lucky enough to have two. My English teachers Mr Hawkins and Ms Stephens harnessed my burgeoning interest in books, and it’s because of them that I am able to supply you with a list of the five best (in my opinion) teachers In literature.

Miss Jean Brodie from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

“The word “education” comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul.”

Mr Chips from Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton

“When he had first come to Brookfield he had aimed to be loved, honored, and obeyed—Obedience he had secured, and honor had been granted him; but only now came love, the sudden love of boys for a man who was kind without being soft, who understood them well enough, but not too much, and whose private happiness linked them with their own.”

Hector from The History Boys by Alan Bennett

“Pass the parcel. That’s sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That’s the game I want you to learn. Pass it on.”

Miss Honey from Matilda by Roald Dahl

“Miss Jennifer Honey was a mild and quiet person who never raised her voice and was seldom seen to smile, but there is no doubt she possessed that rare gift for being adored by every small child under her care. She seemed to understand totally the bewilderment and fear that so often overwhelms young children who for the first time in their lives are herded into a classroom and told to obey orders. Some curious warmth that was almost tangible shone out of Miss Honey’s face when she spoke to a confused and homesick newcomer to the class.”

Miss Temple from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

“Miss Temple has generally something to say which is newer than my own reflections: her language is singularly agreeable to me, and the information she communicates is often just what I wished to gain.”

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