School is about to be back in session, and for many this time of year brings up memories of nervous excitement or dread. Or both. Of course, one of the most memorable aspects of school is teachers.

While we've all had some extraordinary teachers and coaches, some of the most inspirational and deplorable have come from the world of fiction. Whether through their zany antics, annoying personality, big heart or positive influence, these fictional teachers are truly memorable.

The worst

Richard Vernon ("The Breakfast Club"): Detention supervisor and assistant principal Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) is the worst kind of authority figure — someone who has power but shouldn't. He's also a master of the cliche, spouting angrily, "If you mess with the bull, you get the horns."

Dolores Umbridge (The "Harry Potter" series): Unlike most of her colleagues at Hogwarts, professor Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) is cruel, devious and downright hateful. Fans were happy when she finally received her comeuppance. 

Mr. Garrison ("South Park"): To be sure, Mr. Garrison (voiced by Trey Parker) is entertaining, but this teacher who doesn't know the meaning of the word "overshare" is too unpredictable to be an effective teacher. Mr./Mrs. Garrison has had more crazy life experiences than an entire school faculty combined. 

Ed Rooney ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off"): Ferris Bueller may be popular with the sportos, dweekies and geeks, but dean of students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) won't let some punk like Ferris leave his cheese out in the wind. 

Mr. Strickland ("Back to the Future"): Regardless of the decade or century, Mr. Strickland (James Tolkan) has no patience for slackers who lack discipline. 

Edna Krabappel ("The Simpsons"): Bart Simpson's fourth-grade teacher lost her passion for teaching long ago. Mrs. Krabappel (voiced by Marcia Wallace) is cynical, short-tempered and has several vices. Though she has a tough exterior, Mrs. K and Bart eventually learn to respect each other. 

Sue Sylvester ("Glee"): The tracksuit-wearing coach of the McKinley High School Cheerios cheerleading club is used to winning. However, when Sue (Jane Lynch) has to have her team's exorbitant budget cut due to the formation of a glee club, she seeks vengeance against anyone involved. 

The best

Mr. Keating ("Dead Poets Society"): Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) is everything you've ever hoped a teacher would be. Smart, funny and supportive, he understood the power of words and told his pupils to "seize the day."

Ms. Frizzle ("The Magic School Bus"): She's a bit odd, but when it comes to making school fun, the colorfully dressed Ms. Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin) has few equals. Of course, having a magic school bus that can explore space, the human body and different ecosystems doesn't hurt. 

Mr. Bergstrom ("The Simpsons"): A kind man who isn't above making fun of himself to teach a lesson, Mr. Bergstrom (voiced by Dustin Hoffman) is highly intelligent and incredibly thoughtful. He's the type of substitute teacher you wish you had. 

Professor Snape (the "Harry Potter" series): You could certainly make a case for other characters from "Harry Potter" making this list, but Snape (Alan Rickman) is emblematic of a unique type of teacher/student relationship. He's that teacher you think hates you but is actually watching out for you. 

Ms. Norbury ("Mean Girls"): Calculus teacher and math team coach Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) is as nerdy as a teacher can get. However, her wit and appropriately timed nuggets of wisdom make her someone well-respected by students. 

Dewey Finn ("School of Rock"): While he gets off to a rough start and doesn't begin his teaching career with the right intentions, few educators have had a more symbiotic relationship with their class. Dewey helps his students lighten up and feel free to be themselves, while they help their teacher grow up. 

Mr. Collins ("The Wonder Years"): He was only in one episode and he would die off-screen during it, but Mr. Collins (Steven Gilborn) perfectly represented the type teacher who pushes you to succeed when you're unsure of yourself. 

Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.

Terry is a journalist and social media manager for The Gazette. He's a graduate of the University of Denver, loves the Denver Broncos, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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