3 Passion Planner Ideas Based On Famous Teachers from Pop Culture
School is back in session, and to put it lightly, it does not look the way we remember it. But what hasn’t changed is that as always, teachers are making the most of what they have and are absolutely CRUSHING it with their adaptability to this new educational landscape.
Still, with school back in session, we find ourselves reminiscing about the version of school we grew up seeing in the movies. Passing notes, eating lunch in the bathroom stall (oops… just me?), occasionally doing homework, and of course the teachers that keep the whole thing running.
Another favorite schooltime memory: yearbooks! Specifically, the superlative awards, like Best Hair or Most Likely to Succeed. Even though the 2020-2021 yearbook will look quite different from the ones before it, we are cracking open our Academic Passion Planners and honoring some of the best teachers our staff never had, with Passion Planner ideas based on famous teachers from pop culture.
Best Work/Life Balance: Mr. Ratburn
According to Arthur and Buster, teachers don’t have lives outside of school. “When they go home, they sharpen pencils, eat kale, and dream up homework assignments!” However, they couldn’t be more wrong about the studious and professional, yet layered Mr. Ratburn. He may be a homework-heavy, buttoned-up third grade teacher by day, but by night, Mr. Ratburn is the frontman and guitarist for The Lost Teachers. And let me tell you… their song Pop Quiz is a banger to this day!
As if this didn’t already make Mr. Ratburn a work/life balance legend, he also scheduled time for love. In the groundbreaking episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” Arthur discovers that Mr. Ratburn is getting married to a chocolatier named Patrick - despite his disbelief that “teachers don’t get married!” Not only was this a win for LGBTQ visibility in children’s TV, but a sweet reminder that teachers are humans with full, rounded lives… even if they do go eat kale after class.
How to use your Passion Planner like Mr. Ratburn:
- Track deadlines and assignments with the School To Do List
- Try color coding different parts of your life to promote balance (ie. school, work, hobbies)
- Set clear boundaries for your time, and prioritize your passions
Most Likely to Call You Out: Mr. Morgan
If Mr. Morgan was a teacher in 2020, he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by everything going on in the world. He wouldn’t even be… whelmed. Passionate and sarcastic, Mr. Morgan is the teacher that takes zero BS, especially from his students! 10 Things I Hate About You’s resident literature expert never hesitates to school his class on everything from Shakespeare’s sonnets to the art of calling people out.
Even though he’s tough, we don’t hate Mr. Morgan. Not even a little bit. Not even at all (okay, I’m done!). It may come disguised as expert roasts, but what Mr. Morgan really does is invite discourse about important social issues, including intersectional feminism and cultural appropriation, into his classroom. We were here for it back in 1999, and we still are in 2020!
How to use your Passion Planner like Mr. Morgan:
- Use the Space of Infinite Possibility to track your anti-racism reading list
- Write down motivational quotes to get you through sixth period
- Schedule assignments that challenge your students’ worldview
The Teacher Who Gets It: Ms. Norbury
She’s divorced. She’s broke from getting divorced. She’s the teacher who is going through it right along with her students: Ms. Norbury from Mean Girls! From the moment she walks in on Cady’s first day of school, Ms. Norbury is approachable, laid back, and brutally honest about the fact that she just had the worst summer ever. Yes, even worse than carpal tunnel.
Ms. Norbury is transparent about what’s going on in her life beyond school, from personal heartache to holding down a second job to make ends meet. But those struggles aren’t a weakness; Ms. Norbury’s teaching style turns her own experiences into a source of relatability and wisdom that she can pass on to Cady and her other students. She’s that go-to teacher for life advice, homework, and gentle reminders that not ONE of those Marymount boys are cute!
How to use your Passion Planner like Ms. Norbury:
- Keep your Passion Roadmap up to date, aligning your goals in different parts of your life
- Use the Class Contacts sheet to build a support network
- Schedule some self-care time… you deserve it!
What makes a good teacher?
As different as they may seem from each other, Mr. Ratburn, Mr. Morgan, and Ms. Norbury all capture some important facets of being a great teacher, and what effective teaching styles might include in 2020’s version of school.
Whether it’s Mr. Ratburn’s commitment to his hobbies, Mr. Morgan’s unflinching political opinions, or Ms. Norbury’s candid life advice, all three of these characters remind us that teachers are not just what their students get to see. They are human beings (well, unless you’re a cartoon rat!) with many layers, many challenges, and many nuances beyond what they bring into the classroom. With formerly private parts of our lives now walking through the background of our Zoom meetings, it can feel challenging and vulnerable to suddenly have all of those layers laid bare for everyone. But maybe the best teachers are the ones who use their vulnerability as a superpower, and use their unique humanness - imperfections and all - to provide support and guidance to their students.
We hope that you enjoyed this little dose of schooltime nostalgia. Whether you’re a teacher, a student, a parent-turned-teacher, or anything in between, we wish you growth, rest, and grace this school year and beyond!
Who is your favorite teacher from pop culture? Let us know in the comments!
Wendy Sigler is a HR Assistant at Passion Planner. When she’s not busy infiltrating the copywriting team meetings, you can find her playing outside, hosting her podcast, and watching way too many movies in hopes that her knowledge will one day be tapped for a blog guest spot.