Did you know? Teaching is where several celebrities got their start. From music to acting, the following former teachers began by working in the classroom. Of course, teachers are the true stars to us at AdoptAClassroom.org.
1. Sheryl Crow
After receiving a degree in music education from the University of Missouri, Sheryl Crow became a third-grade music teacher at Kellison Elementary School. For two years, Crow taught third-graders before she made the decision to move out to Los Angeles, California in search for a career in the music industry. Crow still embraces her education background by supporting teachers everywhere as the national spokesperson for AdoptAClassroom.org.
Want to help her support teachers in need of classroom supplies? You can make a donation to our Sheryl Crow Fund.
2. Jenna Bush Hager
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of George W. Bush, taught third-graders in Washington, D.C at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. She left her teaching position after a year and a half to work for UNICEF, but Hager still had an interest in children’s education. In 2008, Hager and her mother, Laura Bush, co-wrote the children’s book “Read all about It” to get young students excited about reading. Hager has since worked as a correspondent for the “Today” show, where she has contributed stories about education-related issues.
See AdoptAClassroom.org’s big surprise with Jenna Bush Hager and Sheryl Crow here.
3. Jon Hamm
Before Jon Hamm began his acting career, he taught eighth-grade drama at his alma mater, John Burroughs High School, for two years. During Hamm’s time as a teacher, he was able to make an impact on some of his students. Ellie Kemper, star of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” was enrolled in Hamm’s drama class back in the day. She even gave him a shout-out on the “Today” show, calling him “a fantastic teacher.” Hamm was able to see just how much his former student has grown as an actor while working along side Kemper on the set of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Bridesmaids.”
4. Hugh Jackman
In 1987, Hugh Jackman taught high school P.E. at Uppingham School in England. Jackman recognized entertainment reporter Rollo Ross as his former student while walking the red carpet at the Zurich Film Festival in 2013. Even after 25 years, Jackman showed Ross that he still cares about the physical wellness of his past students
“I used to teach you at a high school in P.E., and I want to know how your physical education is progressing. It’s very important to me,” he said.
5. Jesse Williams
“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams had six years of teaching under his belt before kicking off his acting career. Williams taught at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania high school, covering subjects such as American and African Studies, as well as English. The actor’s fascination with historical storytelling most notably helped him portray civil rights activist James Lawson in “The Butler.”
6. Ezra Koenig
While Vampire Weekend’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Ezra Koenig, was still trying to make a name for his band, he spent a year as an eighth-grade English teacher. After graduating from Columbia University, Koenig accepted a teaching job at Junior High School 258 in Brooklyn, New York through Teach for America. He quickly realized how tough it can be to earn the respect of students as a new teacher, after being the butt of his students jokes and pranks. Despite having a rough start, he was able to win them over by the end of the year and turn them into Vampire Weekend fans.
7. Gene Simmons
Before becoming the bassist and co-lead singer of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons was a sixth grade teacher. He left the teaching profession after six months to pursue his dreams of preforming on the big stage.
8. Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton playwright, composer, and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda was a substitute seventh grade English teacher after graduating from college. He still remembers the lessons that he himself learned from being a teacher.
“I invariably found the more I listened, the less I spoke, the more effective I was as a teacher,” said Miranda.
Most teachers don’t end up in the public spotlight like these celebrities have, but a lot of them could use your attention. With over 90 percent of teachers spending their own money to supply students in need with basic classroom materials, educators everywhere are in need of your help. You can show a teacher your support by adopting their classroom today!