Students, we know you may not be all that ecstatic about seeing your teachers – and the homework they assign – as the school year starts up. Pay attention in class, though; you never know what hidden talents your teachers might have. Just look at all of these famous former teachers:
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.
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.
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