five teachers we're still crushing on

With James Franco heading back to high school as a teacher, we remember a few of our favourites

by Claire Le
07 September 2015, 8:14am

James Franco just announced on Instagram he will be teaching a eight weeks of classes at his old high school, Palo Alto. From this we know two things: one, that sexy dream you had is actually coming true for a bunch of American 15-year-olds. And the hot teacher trope is alive and well. While we're unfortunately all grown up, and unlikely to have a movie star correcting our homework anytime soon, we thought we'd celebrate by looking back on our own teacher crushes.

1. Michael Vartan aka Mr Coulson in Never Been Kissed

Reflecting on this late 90s classic as an adult, it's a little unsettling how close Mr Coulson got to crossing the line with the (he thought) underage Josie Grosie. But he did just manage to control himself long enough for her legal status to be revealed. So we'll give him a pass mark. Also, who can say no to a man in a v-neck knit.  

2. Dan Dunne aka Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson

Did you ever run into your favourite teacher outside of school, while they were buying discounted creamed corn or something, and you thought—maybe being an adult isn't as cool as I thought. This movie should be about that, as it has the nicest teacher ever spiralling into a den of addiction and self-loathing. But it also has Ryan Gosling smiling sweetly and being cool to a bunch of under privileged kids so we're like, "Mr Nelson can I get you another beer?"

3. Dewey Finn aka Jack Black in School of Rock

Okay, following on from our blue-eyed, sandy-haired heartbreakers, Jack Black wearing a bow-tie doesn't scream sexy. But don't forget that in this movie Dewey manages to be in a band and (for a period of time) hold down a steady job in a fancy school. Meaning he briefly walks the thin line between nice guy and bad boy. Also, extra credit for teaching a generation what a hangover is. 

4. Ms. Norbury aka Tina Fey in Mean Girls

The only thing we didn't love about Mean Girls—calm down it's only one thing, obviously everything else was perfect—was that no one in the movie seemed to recognise that Ms. Norbury was the coolest person in that whole town. Tina Fey is the only person who can play a burnt out teacher/part-time waitress and have you thinking, do I want to start wearing novelty vests?

5. Mr. B aka James Franco in Palo Alto

James Franco is a handsome but a little bit skeezy actor who is becoming a teacher at a Palo Alto high school—which is awesome. Until you remember that he is also a writer that wrote, and then played, a handsome but very skeezy teacher who seduced an underage girl in his book and Gia Coppola's film Palo Alto. Now we know he'll do great, but it might not hurt to keep your hands behind you back for the semester Mr Franco.  


Text Claire Le

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