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High School. For some, these were the glory days, while others would rather forget these mostly awkward years.

But somewhere, we’ve all racked up a list of school teachers and staff we’ve found memorable — for reasons both good and bad. But as students, we rarely stopped to think of teachers, school office staff or the janitor as individuals – individuals who might be having a bad day at work. 

Educators is a new, local, unscripted comedy, set behind-the-scenes of an ordinary Kiwi secondary school, about the people in charge of educating the next generation. These folks, devised by Jesse Griffin, Jonny Brugh, Jackie van Beek (The Breaker Upperers), are bumbling along just as much as the kids they teach. They’ve got no grasp of the curriculum, no knowledge of how to follow the timetable, and not a clue how to complete the homework they set. 

Meet Jarred Needham (Jonny Brugh), the school’s principal. He hates confrontation and although his advice is never right, he is always ready to listen, even if he’s often confused and bamboozled by what he’s hearing. He has a piano in his office which he loves to play while talking to his staff and students. 

Robyn Duffy (Jackie van Beek), the careers advisor and guidance counsellor, has strong opinions which she’s not afraid to voice – this serves as a distraction from the fact that she’s not really doing any work. 

Judy Mokopouwhare (Kura Forrester), is an overconfident, overbearing know-it-all English teacher and head of the drama department. She knows she’s make a fantastic principal one day. Judy lives vicariously through her drama students. This year, she’s determined to put on Lysistrata, no matter the backlash. 

PE and social studies teacher Paul Patrick (Rick Donald) is an Aussie with a lot of energy, and a lot of anger. He’s obsessed with sport and brings it in to all his interactions, all while constantly drinking a protein shake. Paul is harbouring a secret, which could explain the holes in his office walls. 

David Harris (Cohen Holloway), is the school’s maths, accounting and history teacher. He’s recently divorced and his only child is a student at the high school – she’s always the netball captain (he’s the coach). David’s living by himself at the local campground, pretending to be a tourist to save face.  

Biology and chemistry teacher Rachel Duncan (Victoria Abbott) is a devout Christian, and also not actually a trained teacher, but there was a mix up at the temp agency so she stayed on. She was good at science at school so teaching it is not a huge stretch for her, however she is a creationist, and is teaching the kids alternative bible-based theories.  

These dysfunctional educators are just trying to survive the day until the bell rings.  

Funded by NZ On Air.

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