Posts Tagged ‘Mr T’

15 Famous People Who Used to be Teachers

February 18, 2014

 

morris

In honour of former teacher David Morris’ incredible feat of winning a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, here is a list of 15 famous former teachers courtesy of mentalfloss.com:

1. Gene Simmons
The tongue-flicking bassist of Kiss taught sixth grade in Harlem before he became the world’s most famous bass-playing demon. Simmons later revealed in interviews that his superiors canned him for replacing the works of Shakespeare with Spiderman comics, which he thought the students were more likely to actually read.

2. Alexander Graham Bell
The telephone pioneer got his start teaching Visible Speech at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes. He developed a bond with a student named Mabel Hubbard, and when she was 19 the two married.

3. Sting
Before he became a star with The Police, Sting taught English, music, and soccer at St. Catherine’s Convent School. Sting later said of working at a convent school, “I was the only man on the faculty. In fact, I was the only teacher not in a habit.”

4. Robert Frost
Robert Frost worked as a teacher to supplement the income from his fledgling literary career. He worked as both a farmer and teacher at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire. His students called him “the Hen Man” because the poet was afraid of chickens, and Frost allegedly had trouble remembering to milk the school’s cows on time.

5. Lyndon Johnson
The man who would later become the 36th president got his start as a principal at the Mexican-American Welhausen School in Cotulla, Texas. He later finished his teaching degree and landed gigs teaching public speaking at Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas and Sam Houston High in Houston. The debate team he coached at Sam Houston lost the Texas state championship by a single point; Johnson supposedly had to vomit backstage before he could bring himself to congratulate the winners.

6. Art Garfunkel
We can’t speak for Paul Simon, but at least half of Simon and Garfunkel was really, really good at math. Garfunkel nearly earned a doctorate in the subject and was teaching math at the Litchfield Preparatory School in Connecticut when “Bridge Over Troubled Water” soared to the top of the charts.

7. John Adams
The second President of the United States spent a few years working as a schoolteacher in Worcester, Massachusetts. Teaching didn’t suit Adams, who thought his students were nothing more than a “large number of little runtlings, just capable of lisping A, B, C, and troubling the master.” He eventually gave up the job to go to law school.

8. J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter author worked as an English teacher in Portugal as she plotted out the early adventures of her young wizards.

9. Mr. T
It was hard for Chicago students to be fools when it came to gym class in the mid-1970s. You’d pay attention if Mr. T told you to do jumping jacks, wouldn’t you?

10. Sylvester Stallone
Did you know you were seeing a matchup of tough-guy teachers when you watched Rocky III? When Sly was attending the American College in Switzerland during the 1960s, he worked as a gym teacher to earn extra spending money.

11. Andy Griffith
Before he was a sheriff, before he was Matlock, Andy Griffith was a teacher. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Griffith taught English at Goldsboro High School.

12. Billy Crystal
The comedian worked as a junior high substitute teacher on Long Island while he waited for his career to take off. Among the classes he subbed for: girls’ gym, which must have been a great source of material.

13. Kris Kristofferson
The country star was a Rhodes Scholar who studied literature at Oxford before joining the Army and rising to the rank of captain. Toward the end of his tour of duty, Kristofferson took a job as an English teacher at West Point, but he decided against the professorship at the last minute. Instead of heading to New York, he resigned his commission and moved to Nashville in 1965.

14. Stephen King
Although he initially had to work in an industrial laundry after his college graduation, the horror master eventually found a teaching job that paid a cool $6,400 a year at the Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. King wrote Salem’s Lot while living in a trailer and working this job during the day.

15. Sir William Golding
The author’s experiences as a teacher helped inform the novel that made his career. He once allowed a class of boys to debate with complete freedom, and the classroom quickly devolved into such disorder that it inspired Golding to write Lord of the Flies.

 

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Top 5 Musicians that Were Once Teachers

October 23, 2013

kiss

 

I’d love to give you the top 5 teachers who were once musicians, but this will have to do:

 

KISS frontman Gene Simmons (aka The Demon) was actually a 6th Grade teacher at a Manhattan public school for six months before quitting the classroom for the stage. He’s since said that he realised he went into teaching because he wanted people to notice him – but he preferred the idea of performing in front of thousands of fans rather than a few dozen kids.

If you remember 80s hit Don’t Stand So Close to Me, you might also recall seeing Sting dressed as a school teacher in the film clip (www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNIZofPB8ZM). The man who shot to fame with The Police worked as a teacher in a primary school in North East England for two years. He admits he wasn’t very good at it, because he only taught things he was interested in … poetry and soccer.

Prep teacher Art Garfunkel (of legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel) is a talented mathematician. After going to teachers’ college, he was still working in the classroom in Connecticut just after Bridge Over Troubled Water (www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-PNun-Pfb4) became a massive hit.

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad,” according to Sheryl Crow. Well, teaching was the career that made the Missouri singer-songwriter happy before a string of hits earned her millions. Crow started out as an elementary school music teacher – working in the classroom by day and singing in bands on evenings and weekends.

Our last musician on the list is sweatband-wearing Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. His mother was a teacher and, before he formed the band and hit the big time, a young Knopfler taught English in a UK college and visited schools in the countryside several times a week teaching kids guitar skills.

OK, just because it’s you, here’s a bonus five celebs who have also worked in the classroom …

Mr T (best known for playing BA Baracus in The A-Team and his appearance in Rocky III) was a public school gym teacher in the US. We pity the fool who dared to mess around in his class.

John Hamm (Don Draper in drama series Mad Men) was an 8th Grade drama teacher before finding fame on the small screen.

Australia’s own Hugh Jackman is known for sticking to a tough fitness regime to prepare for roles like Wolverine. What you might not know is he also worked as a PE teacher in the UK in the late 80s.

Finally, two best-selling authors: The master of horror, Stephen King (think The Shining, Misery) used to be an English teacher, and Dan Brown (best known for the mega-hit The Da Vinci Code) was also an English and Spanish teacher.

 

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