Psychologist Teacher

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"I've gotta run, but as soon as you're ready to talk about your family problems with an art teacher you can call me!"
—Geoffrey Jellineck, Strangers with Candy's parody of this trope

In addition to teaching, this teacher solves all of his or her students' problems. Whether it's ordinary teen angst or dealing with divorcing parents, no problem is too small or too large to be handled by this benevolent, all-knowing schoolteacher.

Definitely contrast Sadist Teacher. A type of Cool Teacher.

Examples of Psychologist Teacher include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Keating in Dead Poets Society, especially to Neil, although it didn't exactly end well. given that, ya know, Neil kills himself.
  • Miss Johnson in Dangerous Minds. Arguably the whole point of the movie was that THESE kids needed a teacher like this, because they and the system had given up on them achieving anything in school (or afterward).
  • Mr. Duncan from Bang, Bang You're Dead.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Miss Honey, from Roald Dahl's Matilda, is a good candidate.
  • The titular character in Tuesdays With Morrie.
  • Also Miss Perumal, Reynie's tutor, from The Mysterious Benedict Society.
  • Mr. Merchant in Gene Kemp's "Cricklepit School" novels.
  • Notes on a Scandal had a clever subversion: Sheba initially tries to help Steven overcome his problems, but then starts to sleep with him instead. And later, it's revealed that he made up most of the aforementioned problems just so he could get closer to her.


Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • Mr. Moore on Head of the Class.
  • Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World.
    • He tries to avoid it in the early shows, imparting life lessons begrudgingly outside of the classroom. After Mr. Turner disappears between seasons, Feeny fits this trope much more readily, having given up any semblance of trying to maintain a professional distance in his relationships with the main cast of students (to the point that, when he resists telling them he loves them in the Grand Finale, none of them believe him).
  • Mr. Kotter on Welcome Back, Kotter.
  • About half the teaching staff in Boston Public, but Mr. Senate especially.
  • Miss Bliss from Good Morning Miss Bliss, the precursor to Saved by the Bell.
  • Another one is the title character in the long-running Japanese drama San-Nen B-Gumi Kinpachi-sensei.
  • In The Wire, Prez tries to be one of these for his students (to the extent that he even starts taking home a neglected kid's laundry), but gradually realizes that he can't invest himself in them so much.
  • Community parodies this concept with a Professor Whitman, who (in "Introduction to Film") devotes his classes to trying to get students to "seize the day.". He theoretically teaches accounting. It's also played straight to a degree, however, since for all that he comes across as a bit of a deluded clown, he's actually savvy enough to realize that Jeff, who has joined his class for an easy grade, is just coasting and has no real idea how to seize the day.
  • Mr. Schuester in Glee.
    • Well. He'd probably like to think he's this. In fact, though, the only student whose problems he's canonically shown to take much interest in or do much of anything about is Finn Hudson - who's basically Will's mini-me. He's less an actual Psychologist Teacher than a deconstruction of the trope.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Cruelly subverted in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Yuko appears to be the perfect teacher, with her students speaking of her in glowing terms and three of them being close enough to visit her in the hospital. During her first appearance, she literally saves your life and seems to be the one in charge. Unfortunately, it turns out she has a crippling lack of self-confidence that leads to her being effortlessly manipulated by Hikawa and then Aladia. The irony is that she could have been one of the strongest characters in the game, but ends up being the weakest.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Subverted by Mr. Mackey on South Park, who tries so very hard to help his students with their personal problems, but usually fails due to them not taking him seriously.
    • Well, that and his advice being universally shite...
      • Don't think he fits the trope since he is actually the guidance counselor. He's there TO help kids with their problems, unlike this trope which is about a teacher who tries to help kids when it's not really part of the formal teacher-student relationship.
  • Oh so very averted in Kim Possible's Mr. Barkin, who ends up taking over virtually every class from teachers who suffer from various bizarre afflictions and seems if not actively hate teenagers, at least has a serious dislike of them.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Truth In Television: A great many teachers in Real Life can fall under this, while not being as omnipotent as described above, often find themselves trying to help students with problems both minor or major. Usually they're unsuccessful in solving the major problems (what with their own families, jobs, and 100+ other kids), but most certainly try to help the child overcome the issues.
    • Depending on where you live, teachers may also be Mandated Reporters, meaning that they are mandated by law to notify law enforcement or child welfare officials if they suspect that a student may be a victim of abuse.
    • In some places, teachers are also required by law to report if they suspect a student is suicidal or hurting themselves.