Sunday, December 31, 2006

100 Cool Teachers in Children's Literature

On July 23, 2006, the idea to try to list 100 Cool Teachers in Children's Literature was born. Franki wrote,
"We're looking for thoughtful teachers who understand kids and learning and are active, intelligent people who love their work."

Here they are, in alphabetical order by author's last name. Most all of them were nominated by our readers, which you should take as a disclaimer that we haven't read all of these books, and we acknowledge that there may be (a very few, unintentional) errors in this list. If you see something that doesn't look quite right, be sure to let us know!

And by all means, as you encounter a teacher we don't have on our list, nominate him/her -- we'd love to collect MORE than 100 Cool Teachers!!!

1. Jo March in Little Men, Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Professor Bhaer in Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott
John Brooke in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Mr. P in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Miss Nelson in Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
Ms. Bixby in Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
Ida Bidson in The Secret School by Avi
Ms. Isabel Hussey in Chasing Vermeer and The Wright Three by Blue Balliett
Mrs. Thurston in the thing about jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Mrs. Kempezinski in Good Luck, Mrs. K by Louise Borden
Mrs. Morrow in The Day Eddie Met the Author by Louise Borden
the teacher in The A+ Custodian by Louise Borden
Mrs. Mallory in The Last Day of School by Louise Borden
Ms. Shepherd in Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Miss Hawthorn in Willow by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan
Miss Parker in Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Miss Perry in I Remember Miss Perry by Pat Brissom
Miss Temple in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Mr. Ratburn in the Arthur books by Marc Brown
Mr. Carter in the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge
Mr. Terupt in Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Mr. Magro in The SOS File by Betsy Byars, Laurie Myers, and Betsy Duffey
the P.E. teacher in The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
Mr. Champion in Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charley? by Rebecca Caudill

25. Miss Binney in Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Mr. Maxwell in A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Mrs. Granger in Frindle by Andrew Clements
Ms. Clayton in School Story by Andrew Clements
Ted's teacher in Room One by Andrew Clements
Miss Pointy in Sahara Special by Esme Codell
Miss Frizzle in the Magic School Bus books by Joanna Cole
Miss Rumphius in Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Miss Stretchberry in Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Mr. Birkway in Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Miss Hendrickson in I Know Here by Laurel Croza
Iqbal in Iqbal by Francesco D'Admo
Miss Honey in Matilda by Roald Dahl
Mrs. Hartwell in the First Day and First Year books by Julie Danneberg
Ms. Finey in The Cat Ate My Gym Suit by Paula Danziger
the teacher of "Law for Children and Young People" in Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice? by Paula Danziger
Mr. Foster in Kat & Mouse by Alex deCampi
Mrs. Bowers in The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola
Nicholas Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Mrs. McBloom in Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom by Kelly DiPucchio
Mrs. Howdy Doody in Dessert First by Hallie Durand
Madge Bettany in the Chalet School series (UK) by Elinor Brent Dyer
Miss Annersley in the Chalet School series (UK) by Elinor Brent Dyer
Ms. Sarah Melton in Mail Order Ninja by Joshua Elder
Mrs. Brook in Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

50. Miss Malarkey in Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler
Mr. Fabiano in Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher
Juniper in Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong
Rosalyn in The Wonder of Charlie Anne by Kimberly Newton Fusco
Miss Lupescu in The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Miss Smith in Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland
Mr. Kowsz in Happy Kid by Gail Gauthier
Mr. Felix in Thursday's Children by Rumer Godden
Mrs. Jones in Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
Miss Tizzy from Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray
Mrs. Coleman-Levin in the Zack Files series by Dan Greenburg
Mrs. Dunphrey in Don't You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Olana in Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Miri in Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Ms. Washington in Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan
Miss Grey in the Betsy Brooks books by Carolyn Haywood
Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle in Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Mr. Slinger in Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Mr. Carey in Naked Bunyip Dancing by Steven Herrick
Miss Meadows and Mrs. Rossi in Remembering Mrs. Rossi by Amy Hest
Miss Agnes in The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
Mr. Beggs in Mountain Whippoorwill by Suellen Holland
Miss Loupe in Operation YES by Sara Lewis Holmes
Ms. Snickle in The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class by Laurie Miller Hornik
Great Aunt Arizona in My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston

75. Madame Lucille in Brontorina by James Howe
Mr. Blueberry in Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
Mr. Lema in The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez
Anna in Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston
Mr. Meyer in Greetings from Planet Earth by Barbara Kerley
Ms. G in Me and Marvin Gardins by Amy Sarig King
Erica's teacher in Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein
Guy Francis in the "Regarding the..." series by Kate and Sarah Klise
Mr. Sam in the "Regarding the..." series by Kate and Sarah Klise
Mrs. Olinski in The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
Mr. Theotocopolous in The Young Unicorns by Madeline L'Engle
Mr. Thompson in Trevor's Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth by Lester Laminack
Miss Fowler in the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace
Mrs. Pidgeon in the Gooney Bird books by Lois Lowry
Mr. Franka in Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
Mr. Rover and Mrs. Katz in Mr. Rover Takes Over by Grace Maccarone
Ms. Crowley in The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Ms. Minifred in Baby by Patricia MacLachlan
Ms. Mirabel in Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan
Sister Mary Louise in Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Mr. Todd in the Judy Moody books by Megan McDonald
Miss Farley in Caddy Ever After by Hilary McKay
Mr. Gee in Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by Colin McNaughton
Miss O'Grady in Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson
Mr. Ali in My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

100. Miss Stacey in the Anne books by L.M. Montgomery
Anne Shirley in Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
Mr. Carpenter in the Emily books by L.M. Montgomery
Monsieur Noel in A Book of Coupons by Susie Mogenstern
Mrs. Willis in Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
Mr. Boldova in the Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo
Mr. Scary in the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park
"Mrs." in the Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park
Master Min in The Royal Bee by Francis and Ginger Park
Miss Edmunds in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Mr. Clayton in Flip Flop Girl by Katherine Paterson
Miss Barbara Harris in The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Miss Dove in Good Morning, Miss Dove by Frances Gray Patton
Mrs. Spitzer in Mrs. Spitzer's Garden by Edith Pattou
Mr. Collins in All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall
Miss Tansy Culver in A Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck
Mr. D'Matz in the Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker
Ms. Raymond in Dotty by Erica S. Perl
Mr. Faulker in Thank You Mr. Faulker by Patricia Polacco
Mrs. Peterson in The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
Mr. Tripp in Justin Fisher Declares War by James Preller
Ms. Lilly in Noonie's Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback
the teacher in My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
the art teacher in The Dot by Peter Reynolds
Mr. Brunner/Chiron in The Lightning Thief by Rick Riorden

125. Miss Plumberry in Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry by Michael Rosen
Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Professor Lupin in The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Mr. Hon in Tofu Quilt by Ching Yeung Russell
Mr. Lee in Tofu Quilt by Ching Yeung Russell
Miss Jewls in the Sideways books by Louis Sachar
Mrs. Baker in The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Ms. Hill in 4 Kids in 5E and 1 Crazy Year by Virginia Frances Schwartz
Mrs. Fibonnaci in Math Curse by Jon Scieszka
Mr. Newton in Science Curse by Jon Scieszka
Miss Bonkers in Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss
Miss Bindergarten in Miss Bindergarten Goes to Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
Miss Palma in After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Kit Tyler and Mercy Wood in The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Mr. Duncan in White in the Moon by Gretchen Sprague
Mrs. Appletree in Mr. President Goes to School by Rick Walton
Miss Cribbage in My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells
Stuart Little in Stuart Little by E.B. White
Merlin in The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
Laura Ingalls in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Eliza Jane Wilder in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Oliver's teacher in My Teacher for President by Kay Winters
Miss Lesley in Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
(Miss) Alina in Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

150. Mr. Isobe in Crow Boy by Taro Yashima


  1. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Thanks for compiling and posting the whole list! What fun...

  2. Miss Cribbage from Rosemary Wells' _My Kindergarten_. (My son's current favorite book.) She is very cool and lets Robert write his letters upside if he wants to.

  3. Anonymous10:02 AM

    I don't think these were there...

    Ms. Snickle from The Secrets of Ms. Snickle's Class

    and Mr. Franka from Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie

  4. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Also Mr. Scary from the Junie B., First Grader series

  5. Woo-Hoo! We're up to 95! Keep 'em coming!

  6. Anonymous10:21 AM

    Oops, you had Mr. Scary. How about Mr. Collins from All of the Above and Mr. Magro from The SOS File.

  7. Anonymous9:50 PM

    What a fantastic list! :) Cheers!

  8. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Fab list! I just finished reading the Princess Academy and loved it. I nominate Miri, since she became a terrific teacher when she returned to the village.

  9. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Okay, I had one (or two) more thoughts. Though you don't really see them, Mrs. Fibonnaci in Math Curse, and Mr. Newton in Science Verse, really get kids thinking about math and science.

  10. Anonymous3:14 AM

    Miss Agnes from The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill. What a cool teacher.

  11. Anonymous11:46 PM

    I thought Ms. Edmonds form Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson was pretty awesome.

  12. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Ms. Shepherd is an amazing teacher in Robin Brande's upcoming book "Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature."

  13. I found Arizona from the picture book My Great-Aunt Arizona. Sweet book about following the life of a girl who grows up to be a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.

  14. and let's not forget E.B. White's Stuart Little, who subbed one day on his way to look for Margalo. The lessons he taught were marvelous.

  15. I simply adore the PE teacher in The Tequila Worm. She's one of my all time most inspirational characters.

  16. Anonymous4:37 PM

    What about Mr. Rover and Mrs. Katz in Mr. Rover Takes Over by Grace Maccarone?

    Mr. Rover is a substitute teacher who happens to be a dog. Mrs. Katz is the "regular" teacher for whom he's subbing. It's a cute book!

  17. Anonymous1:27 AM

    Mr. Falker, from Thank You Mr. Falker, by P. Polaco

  18. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Hi! Great list..I'm a trainee teacher doing my dissertation on headteachers good and bad in children's literature...would this list cover them too?

  19. How about Kit Tyler and Mercy Wood in The Witch of Blackbird Pond? And from one of my favorite school stories ever-- Mrs. Bowers from The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola.

  20. Perhaps Doctor Jakes, Doctor Smith, and Madame Fidolia from (Noel Streatfeild's) Ballet Shoes?

  21. Here's a very cool teacher from a rather obscure book: Mr. Beggs from Suellen Holland's Mountain Whippoorwill!

  22. What about Mr. D'Matz in the Clementine books?


    A substitute teacher - but wonderful none the less!

  24. What an awesome list!!

    I immediately thought of Miss Barbara Harris, the awesome 6th grade teacher of The Great Gilly Hopkins!! Could she be any cooler, more lively, more real, or more memorable--because of what Gilly does, and how she responds?


  25. So glad Mrs. Howdy Doody from Dessert First. Just read the first two chapters and LOVE her.

  26. I would like to suggest we add Ms. Lilly from Noonie's masterpiece. She's on my blog today, - June 14.

  27. Mrs. Baker from The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. "Who els would make me read Shakespeare outside of class?" Mrs. Baker is an inspiration to all teachers.

  28. Wow!!! What a great list! Never knew there were so many. Thank you for posting them.

  29. Fabulous list. I love the idea of this list as much as the list itself. Right away I checked to see if you included Miss Binney and Anne Shirley and you did! What about the teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn who teaches Francies to tell the truth but to write her stories? I don't remember her name off the top of my head and the book is for older audiences, of course.

  30. Anonymous1:02 PM

    I just read Flip Flop Girl, by Katherine Paterson and immediately got on line to check and see if Mr. Clayton was on your cool teacher list. I think I was secretly hoping to be the first to nominate him. :)

  31. And you were, Michelle! I'll add him now!

  32. I am reading THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE by Christopher Paul Curtis. Mrs. Needham definitely needs to be added to this list.

  33. I was thinking just that, Carol...Mrs. Needham was an amazing teacher indeed! What fun to spend the rest of my evening picking my old brain to see who else to nominate....

  34. Don't forget Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney! :)


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