Mr. Galvin is the main science teacher at P.S. 38, as well as the advisor for the Science Club. He has been teaching for more than 42 years. He taught Marty Wright when he was in grade 6, so he understands that Nate does not do very well in school. To the students, he is very boring, as he never laughs according to Nate. He was once a Timber Scout when he was Nate's age. Mr. Galvin is rarely seen smiling. In Big Nate: In A Class By Himself, it is revealed that he has never ever laughed, though he was seen laughing once in the comics. Gina made him laugh once when they were discussing Nate Wright earning the "Student of The Month" award. He wrote Nate a detention slip for laughing at him when Galvin's fountain pen ink leaked into Mr. Galvin's shirt. He was also seen being pestered by Nate asking him if he likes Ms. La Chance, the French teacher. This happens when Nate was reporting for the school paper.


Early Life

When Mr. Galvin was a child, he was a timber scout. He walked door to door, selling galoshes, something which Nate did not know the definition of.


He became a teacher and taught at P.S. 38 for forty-two years. Around this time, he tried a perm. He also had a son that taught at Nate's school for a day as a substitute.

Big Nate in a Class by Himself

Mr. Galvin was preparing for his last class of the day. Nate Wright was in front of him, trying to be funny, so he told Nate to take his seat. He started writing on the board when the same student walked up to him and said a joke. He, once again, told him to sit down. Mr. Galvin sat down when Nate came again and showed him a comic. Mr. Galvin read the comic, but he liked it as much as a splitting headache, which for all we know Nate was giving him. Next, he tried tickling him with a feather duster but that did not work either. Galvin is in love with Greta Van Susteran, an American commentator.

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Personality and Traits

Through decades of experience, Mr. Galvin is very learned in science. He teaches it to his students mostly through lectures, causing student Nate Wright to find him very boring. This is further supported by the fact that he very rarely smiles. He did smile, however, when Nate revealed he was a Timber Scout when Nate asked about if he could win the Student of the Month award and when Gina Hemphill-Toms asked if Nate could make it on the honor roll. The only time he ever laughed was at the latter, which was at Nate's expense. He seems to have a degree of emotional instability. This is proven when he was rated "psycho monthly" in Nate's "angergraph." He could occasionally come off as cold and unfeeling, though he is actually selfless, devoting his entire life to teaching aspiring children. He also has a tendency to be honest, even in embarrassing situations. In addition, he is slightly embarrassed about his dentures.


He has a collection of potatoes shaped like famous scientists. He is also said to have a 40-year-old cologne and 40-year-old ties.


  • Nate constantly exaggerates how old he is.
  • He usually never notices that his pen cap wasn't on his pen in his pocket.
  • His favorite flavor of jelly bean is orange.
  • He gave Nate dental toothpaste as food, though he did not eat it.
  • Nate gave him 3 nicknames. One of them is "Shifting Plates"
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