25 of the most memorable TV teachers

17 of 26

Lena Adams – The Fosters

Lena Adams would probably join a teaching co-op with Jessica Day (from New Girl) because they both have that hippie-dippy sensibility in which a hug is the best motivator. In theory, that’s a beautiful and loving sentiment, but in practice it might not get the job done.

Lena Adams Foster (Sheri Saum) is the guidance counselor at a very progressive high school in a California beach town. She leads with empathy and understanding, and the premise of the show surrounds her and her wife’s call to foster troubled teenagers.

She is open-minded and reasonable, two traits that are completely essential as both a high school counselor and parent to a handful of strong-willed, active teenagers. She and her wife often disagree about how to handle the inevitable drama that accompanies their situation because Stef is a police officer and has a more “tough love” approach to child-rearing.

Lena, on the other hand, is mostly soft-spoken, but she can become extremely assertive when it comes to protecting the young people in her life. She usually defaults to a lot of conversation, active listening and lots and lots of empathy. Her strong maternal instinct pervades her interactions, often to a fault. She’s trusting and believes in the good of everyone. Anyone who deals with teenagers sees how problematic this can be when put into practice.

You can watch Lena hug her way through five seasons on Netflix and Freeform’s website.