The Five Best Teachers in Children's Literature

October 2, 2017 | Teresa

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Teacher and Students
Photo courtesy of Toronto Star Archives

Every year on October 5, we celebrate World Teachers' Day. Established by UNESCO in 1994 to promote the vital contributions that teachers around the world make to society, World Teachers' Day is a time to celebrate our favourite educators.

I am fortunate enough to have had some amazing teachers throughout my academic career, but three in particular stand out for me: Mrs. Henley, Ms. Gainer and Ms. Campisi. They not only made learning fun for me, but they also taught me how to dream big, they inspired me to choose my own path in life, and they were there for me when I needed them the most. What more could any student ask for!

So, in honour of all those amazing teachers out there, I decided to compile a list of my all-time favourite teachers in children's literature. From the fun and the zany, to the heart-warming and inspirational, each of these teachers plays a vital role in the lives of their students.

1. Miss Nelson

    Miss Nelson is Missing
From: Miss Nelson is Missing
By: Harry Allard
Ages: 4-8

One day, when Miss Nelson does not come to school, the misbehaved kids in room 207 meet their match in substitute teacher Miss Viola Swamp. Without giving too much away, the main reason why I love Miss Nelson so much is because she does what every teacher wishes they could do, she teaches her students the value of a great teacher!

 2. Ms. Frizzle

     The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition
From : The Magic School Bus series
By: Various authors
Ages: 6-9

Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series is probably one of the coolest teachers around. She drives a yellow school bus with magical transforming powers, and she's down for whatever adventures come her way. Most importantly though, she makes learning, especially science, fun!

3. Mr. Falker

     Thank You  Mr. Falker
From: Thank You, Mr. Falker
By: Patricia Polacco
Ages: 7-9

The main reason why I love Mr. Falker so much is because he is a testament to the power of what a great teacher can do. Based on the author's own struggles with dyslexia, this advanced picture book tells the story of Trisha, a young girl who loves to learn but ends up hating school because she struggles to read. After years of torment, Trisha meets Mr. Falker, the kind, patient teacher who not only teaches her how to read, but changes her life forever.

4. Miss Honey

From: Matilda
By: Roald Dahl
Ages: 8-12

I was first introduced to Miss Honey through Roald Dahl's classic Matilda, the story of a little girl with exceptional abilities. The only problem is nobody appreciates Matilda, especially not her school's headmistress Miss Trunchbull, nor her very own parents! Enter Miss Honey, the kind, patient and super supportive teacher who remains the one constant in Matilda's life.

5. Professor Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
From: The Harry Potter series
By: J.K. Rowling
Ages: 9 and up

Although Dumbledore is the Headmaster at Hogwarts he is probably one of the most influential people in Harry Potter's life. Not only does he teach him about the rules of magic, but he is always there for Harry when it matters the most. To me, that is the best gift any teacher can give.

And to all those parents out there who are reading this, just remember, you are your child's first and best teacher, and as such, you are the most vital link in their early development. If you want to learn more about teaching your child early literacy skills, including tips and tricks on how to make reading a part of your everyday routine, check out our Ready for Reading site.

Happy World Teachers' Day everyone!