Fictional teachers sometimes have their hands full dealing with Demogorgon-obsessed kids or school-wide paintball wars, but you might have more in common with them than you think. Check out one of these shows the next time you need a break from grading papers.
1. Teachers (TV Land): Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien, and Kathryn Renée Thomas star in this TV Land comedy based on a web series of the same name. The show, which ran for three seasons, focuses on a group of elementary school teachers who try to lead their students to academic success while barely managing to keep their own lives together.
2. New Girl (Fox): Although the final episode aired in 2018, any teacher who loves watching a member of their profession portrayed on screen should find a way to check out New Girl. Real-life educators will relate to the fact that Jess (Zooey Deschanel) has to take on everything from science to art to sex education — while also juggling her complicated personal life.
3. American Vandal (Netflix): A satirical look at true-crime documentaries, American Vandal‘s first season tells the story of Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck), two high school students who are determined to solve the mystery surrounding a mass case of vandalism and either prove the guilt or innocence of suspect Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro). While the teachers are sometimes cast as the villains in this tale, it’s a quirky glimpse into high school culture that will resonate with anyone who’s ever walked through halls lined with lockers.
4. Stranger Things (Netflix): Defeating Demogorgons isn’t an easy task, but thankfully, the kids on Stranger Things can count on occasional — if clueless — guidance from their friendly AV teacher, Mr. Clarke (Randy Havens), who proves that dedicated teachers do their best to help their students out in any weird and wild situation.
5. The Magicians (Syfy): If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to teach at Hogwarts, you should check out The Magicians, which has a similarly magical vibe. Jason Ralph appears as Quentin Coldwater, a student at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. Of course, when you’re dealing with subject matter that involves mystical powers, unexpected situations are bound to pop up.
6. Friday Night Lights (NBC): If you teach at a school that loves football, Friday Night Lights is the show for you. The NBC series, which ran from 2006 until 2011 but is still a fan favorite, stars Kyle Chandler as coach Eric Taylor, who lives and works in Dillon, Texas, a small town with big heart.
7. Community (NBC): For those who share their academic excellence at a post-secondary level, Community is the perfect choice. Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, and Jim Rash play the staff and students of a wonderfully weird community college in the fictional town of Greendale, Colorado.
8. The Magic School Bus Rides Again (Netflix): In this new version of the classic show, Ms. Frizzle is now Professor Valerie Felicity Frizzle, Ph.D., and it’s her younger sister, Fiona Frizzle (voiced by Kate McKinnon), who drives the titular bus into unexpected and amazing adventures.
(Photo via TV Land)