Movies with Inspiring Teachers

Everyone can remember a teacher who made a real difference in their life. Here are some movies that celebrate those amazing people who challenge, motivate, and inspire our kids. From tales of perseverance and grit like Akeelah and the Bee and Dead Poets Society to silly comedies like School of Rock, the adults in these movies support their students no matter what. By demonstrating positive messages and acting as role models, the coaches, principals, and teachers here can instill strong character strengths like teamwork and curiosity in kids both on-screen and off. For more stories about school, check out our list of Best High School Movies and Back-to-School Books.

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Akeelah and the Bee Movie Poster Image
Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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McFarland, USA Movie Poster Image
Poignant story about Latino runners a winner for families.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Mr. Holland's Opus Movie Poster Image
'90s drama about inspiring teacher has some cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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October Sky Movie Poster Image
Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Music of the Heart Movie Poster Image
Touching story about a determined teacher has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Remember the Titans Movie Poster Image
Inspiring football drama brings history to life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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School of Rock Movie Poster Image
Standout Jack Black in nerds-become-cool comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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The Karate Kid Movie Poster Image
'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Dead Poets Society Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, intense story of a teacher and his students.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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The Great Debaters Movie Poster Image
Inspiring true story confronts racism head-on.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Freedom Writers Movie Poster Image
True story of inspirational teacher; language, violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Hard Lessons (The George McKenna Story) Movie Poster Image
Uplifting biopic has some violence, strong language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Stand and Deliver Movie Poster Image
Math teacher inspires in powerful fact-based drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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To Sir, with Love Movie Poster Image
Sydney Poitier at his best; teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1967)
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Coach Carter Movie Poster Image
Engaging film with a terrific message.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Good Will Hunting Movie Poster Image
Moving story of brilliant, troubled youth for older teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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The Edge of Seventeen Movie Poster Image
Excellent acting in poignant, mature coming-of-age story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Movie Poster Image
Powerful, painful account of Harlem teen's hard-luck life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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