21 Of The Best Songs About Teachers

Written by Dan Farrant

Music and teachers — two universal forces that shape our lives in profound ways. Teachers play pivotal roles in our lives, molding our minds and guiding us toward our potential.

Similarly, music has an uncanny ability to capture the essence of human experience, including its profound impact on educators. It’s no surprise then, that many songwriters have chosen to pay tribute to teachers, reflecting on their influence through the potent medium of melody and lyrics.

Thus in this post, we’ll be exploring 21 of the best songs about teachers. So, continue reading and immerse yourself in this symphony of appreciation for educators.

1. “Another Brick In The Wall” By Pink Floyd

We begin with a sonic masterpiece, Pink Floyd‘s “Another Brick in the Wall.” This renowned track from their 1979 album The Wall stands out as a powerful testament. It became their only #1 hit in both the US and the UK.

What makes this song fascinating is its layered critique of the educational system. The lyrics allude to “educational indoctrination,” with the teachers symbolizing the government and the students representing the people.

The recurring phrase “Another brick in the wall” signifies the growing disillusionment with a system that suppresses individuality and creativity. It reduces students to mere bricks in the monotonous wall of societal expectations.

2. “Teacher I Need You” By Elton John

Our next song is one that has “teacher” in the title. Elton John‘s “Teacher I Need You” is a captivating gem from the early 1970s. It is a charmingly audacious song that candidly explores a schoolboy’s infatuation with his female teachers.

The lyrics artfully capture the adolescent yearning and awkwardness that come with such crushes, making it a relatable tune for many listeners. Although the subject matter may raise eyebrows, the song stands out for its honesty and wit.

The song’s lively rhythm and playful tone perfectly complement its cheeky theme. It offers a refreshing contrast to more serious and introspective songs about education and teachers.

3. “Teacher Teacher” By 38 Special

Released in 1984, 38 Special‘s track “Teacher Teacher” struck a chord with listeners worldwide. From the soundtrack album of the film Teachers, it is a lively ode to the guiding figures in our lives.

The song explores the special bond between a student and their teacher. It beautifully portrays teachers as pillars of support and inspiration as the student asks, “Can you tell me all I need to know?”

“Teacher Teacher” peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 and remained in the top 40 for ten weeks, demonstrating its widespread appeal. It was later included in the band’s compilation album Flashback.

4. “Hot For Teacher” By Van Halen

Stepping into the spotlight with a fiery blend of rock and roll bravado is “Hot for Teacher,” a standout track by the iconic American rock band Van Halen. This song hails from their sixth studio album, 1984.

Penned by band members, including the legendary Eddie Van Halen, “Hot for Teacher” delves into a playful yet risqué theme — a student’s lustful attraction to his teacher. This daring subject matter lends the song its unforgettable edge.

The track begins with an instrumental intro that sets the tone for the wild ride ahead. The lyrics then unfold into a narrative that captures the adolescent fantasy.

5. “To Sir With Love” By Lulu

Sweeping listeners off their feet with a poignant melody is the classic track “To Sir with Love,” performed by the British singer and actress Lulu. This song beautifully encapsulates the profound impact a teacher can have on their students.

In this melodic ode, Lulu’s voice conveys a range of emotions — admiration, gratitude, and a touch of sorrow at the impending parting. The lines “If you wanted the sky, I would write across the sky in letters… / To Sir, with love,” express a profound sense of respect and affection for a mentor figure.

Upon its release, the song was met with tremendous acclaim. It resonated with listeners far and wide, resulting in it topping the Hot 100 in 1967.

6. “When I Kissed The Teacher” By ABBA

Up next is a song that drips with the unmistakable sound of the iconic pop group ABBA. “When I Kissed the Teacher” serves as a delightful exploration of a schoolgirl’s infatuation.

Composed by the masterful songwriting duo Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, this song unfolds a cheeky tale of a student who surprises everyone, including herself, by kissing her teacher.

The song with “teacher” in the lyrics” enjoyed considerable popularity upon its release, becoming a fan favorite. Its legacy has been further cemented by its inclusion in the 2018 sequel to the hit film Mamma Mia!

7. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” By The Police

Released in September 1980, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” is by the British rock band The Police. A tantalizing interplay of rock and reggae, this track delves into the complexities of forbidden attraction.

The song’s narrative centers on the unspoken tension and illicit feelings between a teacher and his young female student.

The phrase “Don’t stand so close to me” serves as a metaphor for the teacher’s internal struggle and is constantly repeated. He pleads for distance, not just physical but emotional, to resist the temptation and avoid the scandalous implications of their closeness.

8. “School Teacher” By Bob Seger

Our next song, “School Teacher” by Bob Seger, is a rock classic that was part of the singer’s 1974 album Seven.

The lyrics reveal a narrative of admiration from the perspective of someone who sees the teacher every day. This is addressed in the lines “I seen you walkin’ every day on your way, school / I seen you talkin’ to the children.”

The narrator seems to work in the same school as the teacher, possibly in a less glamorous role, as suggested by the line “Work in the boiler beneath the building.” He admires her dedication and wishes for her attention, pleading with her to “Please don’t walk on past.”

9. “Teachers” By Daft Punk

In the realm of electronica, few names resonate as powerfully as Daft Punk. Among their diverse discography, the song “Teachers” stands out as a distinctive tribute to the artists and musicians who have inspired and influenced them.

This track from their debut album, Homework, is a unique musical homage. Rather than focusing on school teachers, the song takes a different approach. It acknowledges those who taught them in the field of music.

The song is a testament to Daft Punk’s appreciation for the influences that have guided their musical journey. It emphasizes the fact that teachers come in many forms.

10. “Teacher’s Pet” By Doris Day

Up next is a timeless melody from the golden era of Hollywood. Doris Day‘s “Teacher’s Pet” is a charming tribute to love and learning. The song was featured in the 1958 American romantic comedy film of the same name, in which the singer also starred.

“Teacher’s Pet” is a joyous exploration of infatuation. It playfully captures the spirit of a student smitten with her teacher. With lines like “I wanna take home a diploma and show Ma that ya love me, too,” the song is filled with a youthful zest that is hard to resist.

Overall, “Teacher’s Pet” is a celebration of learning, love, and the unexpected lessons that life can teach us. Through this track, Day reminds us that sometimes, the most valuable lessons come from the heart.

11. “Teacher” By Nick Jonas

Blending pop and R&B, our next song is “Teacher” by Nick Jonas. It is from the singer’s eponymous second studio album, released in 2014.

“Teacher” is a departure from the traditional concept of songs about teachers. The lyrics, penned by Ammar Malik and Danny Parker, are not about school teachers. Rather, it is the narrator who is the teacher.

Throughout the song, he expresses dismay that a woman he admires does not appear to know how to love, as told in the line, “It’s like your mama never taught you how to love.” Not to be turned off, he takes it upon himself to teach her how instead.

12. “The Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils” By Morrissey

A deep dive into the discography of Morrissey reveals a plethora of thought-provoking and lyrically intricate songs. One such track that stands out is “The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils.” Released in August 1995, this was a part of Morrissey’s Southpaw Grammar album.

This song is a potent exploration of power dynamics within educational institutions. Its lyrics are hard-hitting and unapologetic, with lines like “There’s too many people planning your downfall / When your spirit’s on trial, these nights can be frightening.”

These words paint a picture of an environment where teachers are constantly under scrutiny and persecuted by spiteful students.

13. “Teach Your Children” By Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

In 1968, Graham Nash penned “Teach Your Children” when he was a member of the Hollies. The group did not record it, but the song found its home in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young‘s repertoire in 1970.

As you can guess from the title, the lyrics urge parents to impart wisdom to their children, to “Teach [their] children well.” At the same time, it urges children to also learn from their parents.

Interestingly, “Teach Your Children” was part of the Deja Vu album. This was the first album the band recorded with Neil Young. Despite his addition to the group, he did not contribute to this particular track, allowing the original trio’s harmonies to shine through.

14. “Oh Teacher” By Diana Ross

Our next song, “Oh Teacher,” is a track from Diana Ross‘s 1985 album Eaten Alive. Although not in the traditional sense, the song stands out as a tribute to teachers.

“Oh Teacher” isn’t about learning lessons in school or the classroom, but rather about life’s lessons. It personifies life as a teacher, imparting lessons through each season of our existence.

Upon its release, “Oh Teacher” garnered attention for its emotive lyrics and Ross’s stellar performance. While it may not be as widely recognized as some of her biggest hits, it nonetheless holds a special place in her discography for fans who appreciate the depth and sincerity of her music.

15. “The Teacher” By Paul Simon

The singer-songwriter Paul Simon offers a profound exploration of knowledge and wisdom in his song “The Teacher.” The track was part of his 2000 album You’re the One.

The narrative centers on a teacher of great renown whose teachings are metaphorically compared to tablets of stone. This imagery signifies the impact of the teacher’s lessons. It also suggests that they are deeply embedded in people’s minds and challenging to alter or erase.

Interestingly, “The Teacher” has been released in two versions by Simon. He revisited the song on his 2018 album In the Blue Light, where he reimagined and rearranged some of his favorite tracks from his discography.

16. “Master Teacher” By Erykah Badu

With her soulful music, Erykah Badu gifted the world with an impactful song titled “Master Teacher.” It was part of her album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), released in 2008.

“Master Teacher” stands out as a unique song about teachers because it redefines the concept of a teacher. It isn’t about conventional classroom educators but instead points toward life itself as the master teacher.

The song encourages listeners to stay awake, be aware, and continuously learn from the world around them, embodying the spirit of a true learner. This message makes it a timeless classic.

17. “The Art Teacher” By Rufus Wainwright

Our next sonic gem is by the acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. “The Art Teacher,” released in 2004, explores the intersection of art, life, and love.

The song tells the tale of a woman reflecting on her youthful infatuation with her art teacher. Turns out it was an unrequited love that she never quite got over. It explores how profound influences, like a passionate art teacher, can leave lasting imprints on our lives.

“The Art Teacher” is not just a love story. It’s a meditation on the relationship between art and life. It underscores how our choices, paths, and experiences contribute to the unique artwork that is our existence.

18. “Hey Teacher” By Louis XIV

The indie rock group Louis XIV delivered an electrifying track known as “Hey Teacher.” With an infectious energy that captures the spirit of rebellion, the song stands out from their debut album, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept.

What makes it a great song isn’t necessarily its depiction of traditional teaching roles. Instead, it’s the exploration of life lessons and experiences outside the classroom that defines its narrative.

The lyrics delve into a story of desire and addiction. The song uses the metaphor of a teacher to convey a deeper, more visceral experience. It’s a reminder that not all lessons are academic. In fact, some of the most impactful teachings come from our personal interactions and experiences.

19. “Teacher’s Blues” By Pete Seeger

Another sonic tribute to teachers is Pete Seeger‘s “Teacher’s Blues.” Uniquely, however, it does not glorify their profession but rather highlights the struggles they face.

The lyrics, “Oh teacher, teacher why are you so poor? / When it comes to unions you’re an amateur,” shed light on the economic hardships and challenges that teachers often grapple with. It’s a stark, honest portrayal that resonates deeply, particularly given the ongoing discussions around teachers’ rights and fair compensation.

Seeger was known for his political activism. This track is a perfect example of how he used his music as a platform to voice his concerns and advocate for change.

20. “The Headmaster Ritual” By The Smiths

Rocking the airwaves in 1985 is a track by the English band The Smiths. “The Headmaster Ritual” is a track from their second studio album, Meat Is Murder.

The song stands out for its vivid portrayal of school life, particularly in Manchester. The lyrics paint a picture of an oppressive educational environment, where even asking permission to be excused from class because of a cold results in a punishment.

Upon its release, the song was well-received by both critics and audiences. Its sharp commentary, combined with the band’s musical prowess, contributed to its enduring popularity.

21. “Teachers” By Leonard Cohen

Ending this list is Leonard Cohen‘s “Teacher.” From the 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen, it is a track that provokes thought and stirs emotions.

The song is not just about teachers in the traditional sense. It’s an exploration of wisdom and instructed learning, as well as a deep dive into the human condition and our constant quest for knowledge and understanding.

Lyrically, the song mentions teachers as a metaphor to represent various experiences and individuals that have taught him valuable lessons throughout his life. Throughout the song, he expresses how every experience, whether positive or negative, offers a chance for growth and learning.

Summing Up Our List Of Teacher Songs

We have just delved into some of the most poignant and moving songs about teachers. These songs not only pay tribute to educators but also explore deeper themes of learning, growth, and the human experience.

We hope this article has been both enjoyable and informative, offering you a new perspective on these beautiful songs and perhaps even introducing you to a few new favorites.

Have we missed a song that should be on this list? Let us know and we’ll add them here!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.