25 of the most memorable TV teachers

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Principal Belding – Saved By The Bell

This might be a controversial pick because some Saved By The Bell purists think Miss Bliss is the front runner. I disagree. Although Bliss is kind and empathetic, she doesn’t really have to deal with those students once they hit high school. Mr. Belding, on the other hand, is there through all of the shenanigans and nonsense.

Dennis Haskings played Mr. Belding as the put-upon head of a school which apparently doesnt’t require actual attendance to any of its classes. Zach, Kelly, Slater and Screech wander the halls of Bayside High, planning mischief and melodrama. For some reason, Mr. Belding always finds his way into the middle of this and often tries to offer advice that they rarely ever executed.

I realize he’s portrayed through the point of view of teenagers as an out of touch adult nerd, but he got a bad rap. He gives those hoodlums chance after chance, and they continue to take advantage of his good nature. As an grown up, and as a teacher, I think he’s the real hero of the show. If I were the principal, those kids would have been expelled long ago, and I wouldn’t even have felt bad about it. Unlike Belding, I don’t have an endless supply of patience and understanding for the tomfoolery of children.

All 99 episodes (including the Miss Bliss years) are available on Hulu.