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We all have that one teacher who impacted us well into our futures. The one who went above and beyond to encourage you to reach your highest potential. Today, take the time to celebrate them on World Teachers’ Day. We celebrate these famous celebrities, who were once someone’s favorite teacher.

On October 5, a global event was launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994. Just as our favorite fictional teachers from ABC’s hit family show “Abbott Elementary” or Matilda’s beloved Ms. Honey, educators truly make the world go round.

Students spend more time with their teachers than they do with their parents. Teachers play many roles in our lives. Though their only responsibility is to educate their students, they often take on the role of caregivers, glorified babysitters, comics, and more.

The least we can do is thank them for the pivotal role they have played in the lives of many students around the world. In 2022, teaching is not on the top of anyone’s career list. With the rise in school shootings and growing safety concerns as the world continues to combat a new virus daily, teachers deserve so much more.

We were surprised to learn that these famous celebrities were once in the same penny loafers as these educators.

Before you learn who these famous ex-educators are, send your favorite teacher a thank you for being a central part of your development and success today.

Check out our list of famous celebrities who were once teachers below:

Happy World Teachers’ Day: These Famous Celebrities Were Once Teachers  was originally published on

1. Barack Obama

Source:Barack Obama

Former President Barack Obama spent 12 years teaching constitutional law and race theory at the University of Chicago Law School.

2. Gene Simmons


The bassist of Kiss taught 6th grade in Harlem for 6 months as the band was forming.

3. Sting


Before Sting crooned his way to success as the leading member of the Police, he was a certified primary school teacher and soccer coach in England. He quit after his solo career began to gain traction.

Decades after his stint as a teacher, Sting is still steadfast about raising teacher’s salaries, as he acknowledges that teaching is one of the most important (and underpaid) jobs in the world.

4. J.K. Rowling


Before writing the iconic Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling pursued education after seeing an advertisement in The Guardian to teach English as a foreign language in Porto, Portugal. Rowling taught English at night and wrote chapters of the first novel in the series during the day.

5. Sylvester Stalone


When Sylvester Stallone was attending the American College in Switzerland, he taught gym class on the side to earn extra cash for spending money while overseas.

6. Mr. T

Source:Mr. T

Before Mr. T found success as a professional wrestler and actor in the 1980s, he worked as a gym teacher at the Paul Lawrence Dubar Vocational Career Academy in Chicago. After his time teaching, he earned a scholarship to attend Prairie View A&M University.

7. Hillary Clinton

Source:Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton moved to Arkansas in 1974 to be with her husband, Bill Clinton. So, she secured a job at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, teaching criminal law as one of only two female faculty members on staff.

8. Jesse Williams

Source:Jesse Williams

Actor Jesse Williams taught American Studies, African Studies, and English for six years in the Philadelphia public school system after graduating college. Before his fame as an actor, he believed that teaching would be his life.

9. Roberta Flack

Source:Roberta Flack

Critically acclaimed singer and songwriter Roberta Flack taught music and English in Farmville, North Carolina, after graduating from Howard University at the tender age of 19.

10. Maya Angelou

Source:Maya Angelou

After achieving national acclaim for her work, “ Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” author Maya Angelou taught at Wake Forest University from 1982 to 2011, where she emphasized that she was not a “writer who teaches,” but a “teacher who writes.” She claims that her experience at the university made her come to this realization.

11. Lin-Manuel Miranda

Source:Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda worked as an English teacher at his old high school, Hunter College High School. While doing this, he was writing “In the Heights,” among many other projects.

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