A Tournament of Teachers: Literary Players Revealed


It’s March, spring is right around the corner, and that can only mean one thing: The start of the big college basketball tournament.

To get into the spirit of the competition, Advancement Courses is hosting our own bracket challenge! For a fun twist, we’ve chosen 32 fictional teachers from books, movies, and television to see how they stack up. The contest tips off March 12. Through March 21, you can submit your own bracket on our website, then vote for the teachers you think should advance to the next round from March 22-31.

The winner will be announced April 2. Afterward, we’ll share the first, second, and third place winners of our challenge based on who submitted the most accurate bracket. Here’s a breakdown of the prizes:

  • 1st Place: $500 Amazon gift card
  • 2nd Place: $250 Amazon gift card
  • 3rd Place: Free professional development course from Advancement Courses (3 entrants will win this prize)

Don't miss the on-screen lineup here. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the bracket competition and how to enter!

Literary Teachers (by seed)

#1: Albus Dumbledore | Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

  • Title: Professor, headmaster
  • Famous quote: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to apparate past defenders

Dumbledore is the famous headmaster who served at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Known for his long beard, booming voice, and magical power, Dumbledore is beloved by students (aside from a couple in Slytherin house) and the public as a leader for good in the magic world against the dark wizard Voldemort.

#2: Charles Xavier | Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters

  • Title: Professor, founder of the X-Men
  • Famous quote: "Any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for."
  • Superlative: Most likely to use telekinesis to score

Xavier, known as Professor X, is the leader of the X-Men from the Marvel Comics series. He also runs Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. Xavier is a mutant who has extraordinary telepathic abilities. He’s known for his bald head and the wheelchair he uses, though he can move it with his mind. Xavier believes in a world in which mutants and humans can coexist, unlike his old friend, Magneto.

#3: Ms. Frizzle | Walkerville Elementary School

  • Title: Fourth Grade Science Teacher
  • Famous quote: “Seat belts, everyone!”
  • Superlative: Most likely to arrive at the game in a yellow school bus

Ms. Frizzle — aka The Frizz — is the eccentric and bright fourth grade science teacher who takes kids on The Magic School Bus. The bus allows Ms. Frizzle to take her class to outer space, into the clouds, within the human body, or back in time. While strange at times, Ms. Frizzle is nice, comforting, and a motherly figure for the students.

#4: Miss Honey | Crunchem Hall Primary School

  • Title: School teacher
  • Famous quote: “There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.”
  • Superlative: Most school spirit

Miss Honey is the kind and affectionate teacher at Crunchem Hall, where she teaches little Matilda and her classmates. Miss Honey had a rough childhood, with her parents dying when she was very young and being forced to live with her mean old aunt Agatha Trunchbull. But despite the tough upbringing, Miss Honey takes a liking to Matilda because of her smarts and love of reading.

#5 Mr. Terupt | Snow Hill School

  • Title: Fifth grade teacher
  • Famous quote: “If you love someone, you don't quit on them just because they make a mistake.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to give an impassioned halftime speech

Mr. Terupt is the vivacious and engaging fifth grade teacher at Snow Hill School. He manages to connect with all his students, despite their many different personalities, but falls into a coma after being hit by an icy snowball during a class party in the snow. The students take Mr. Terupt’s lessons to heart, though, and during his absence, they make up for their wrongs with their friends and family.

#6: Miss Edmunds | Lark Creek Elementary

  • Title: Music teacher
  • Famous quote: “Mind like yours wide open, you could create a whole new world.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to break out a guitar solo during the pep band performance

Miss Edmunds, the friendly music teacher from Bridge to Terabithia, takes the lead character, Jesse, to an art museum. He enjoys Miss Edmunds lessons at school, but after the death his best friend, Leslie, Jesse notices Miss Edmunds’ happy and cheery demeaner changes.

#7: Severus Snape | Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

  • Title: Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, headmaster and head of Slytherin House
  • Famous quote: “Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?”
  • Superlative: Most likely to use dark magic to win

Professor Snape was a professor and, for a short time, headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While cold and strict on the outside, Snape’s secret love for Lily Potter led him to act as a secret agent for Dumbledore, allowing Harry Potter to grow and survive until he was strong enough to face Voldemort on his own.

#8: Mr. Brunner | Yancy Academy

  • Title: Latin teacher
  • Famous quote: “I will accept only the best from you, Percy Jackson.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to get called for trotting (traveling)

Also known as Chiron, Mr. Brunner is the Latin teacher at Yancy Academy. Mr. Brunner is a centaur, and he eventually brings Percy Jackson and his best friend, Grover, to Camp Half Blood, which is filled with Demigods. Mr. Brunner is a father figure to his students and is very patient, even with those who have difficult personalities.

#9: Miss Alma LeFey Peregrine | Home for Peculiar Children

  • Title: Headmistress
  • Famous quote: “This is their home. I have tried to make it as fine a place as I could.
  • Superlative: Most likely to add more time to the game clock

Alma LeFey Peregrine was in charge of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. She has the ability to control time and transform into a peregrine falcon. Miss Peregrine recruits the other peculiar children to the school on the island of Cairnholm, protecting them from the outside world.

#10: Miss Stacy | Avonlea

  • Title: School teacher
  • Famous quote: “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it ... well with no mistakes in it yet.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to sew her own uniform

From Anne of Green Gables, Miss Stacy was the first female teacher of the Avonlea school. Stacy was beloved by her students, as her classes were able to take part in field days, Friday afternoon recitations, and physical culture exercises — all of which were new to their educational experience.

#11: Fredrich Bhaer | Plumfield Estate School

  • Title: Professor
  • Famous quote: “I found it by chance. I knew it by the names and the initials, and in it there was one little verse that seemed to call me.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to play street ball in his spare time

Professor Bhaer is the eventual love interest and husband of Jo March from the book, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Bhaer was a professor in his native Germany before emigrating to New York City, where he met March. They start a boarding school in New York City where Bhaer begins teaching, earning a reputation as a compassionate and gentle man.

#12: Miss Temple | Lowood Institute

  • Title: Teacher
  • Famous quote: “Miss Temple had smiled approbation; she had promised to teach me drawing, and to let me learn French, if I continued to make similar improvement two months longer.” – Jane Eyre
  • Superlative: Most likely to take a charge

Miss Temple is one of the teachers at Lowood Institute. In the novel, Jane Eyre, Miss Temple’s main role is to encourage Jane and the other students to learn, as well as to protect them from the cruelty of Mr. Brocklehurst.

#13: Miss Minchin | Seminary in London

  • Title: Headmistress
  • Famous quote: "I expect you to remember, Sara Crewe — you are not a princess any longer."
  • Superlative: Most likely to be a ball hog

Maria Minchin is the head of a seminary for young girls in London. She’s known for her cruelty and greediness, and she regularly abuses her sister, Amelia, and her servant, Becky. Miss Minchin only shows kindness when she can take advantage of the situation.

#14: Mr. Scary | Junie B. Jones

  • Title: Teacher
  • Famous quote: “You’re being very rambunctious this morning, aren’t you, Junie B. Jones?”
  • Superlative: Most likely to console his teammates

From the Junie B. Jones book series by Barbara Park, Mr. Scary teaches Junie’s first grade class. He is considered a nice and patient teacher, though he stands firm on his principles, like no cheating in class.

#15: Anne Shirley | Avonlea/Summerside High School

  • Title: Teacher
  • Famous quote: “Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.”
  • Superlative: Most likely to organize a basketball tournament

Anne, from Anne of Green Gables, became a teacher at Avonlea at the age of 16, and later taught at Summerside High School. She was also the first to get a degree in English from Avonlea. Anne is a very cheerful person, but can also be careless. She once starched Matthew’s handkerchiefs.

#16: Viola Swamp | Horace B. Smedley School

  • Title: Substitute teacher
  • Famous quote: “Not So Fast!”
  • Superlative: Best sixth man

Miss Swamp is considered “the meanest substitute teacher in the world” in Harry Allard’s Miss Nelson book series. Miss Swamp fills in to teach Miss Nelson’s sixth grade class, showing the students she is a strict disciplinarian who gives them even more work than Miss Nelson would.

Join the madness and help us to determine who will be the last one standing by submitting your predictions!

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