17 Celebrities Who Were Teachers Before they Made it Big

Raised hands in front of a chalkboard

Teachers aren’t just people who instruct pupils in a particular subject, they change lives and inspire others. Teachers also encourage students to go after their dreams, motivate them to believe in themselves and guide them toward new interests.

Inspirational stories have a way of tugging at our collective heartstrings and these stories of teachers turned celebrities do just that.

Wait; there are celebrities who were teachers? Yes. In fact, there are quite a few of them. Here is a list of who they are and what they taught.

Once you’re done reading about these celebrities who were teachers, take a moment to bookmark or share this with your friends.

At the end of the day, we hope this post encourages you and motivates you to think about your future.

Andy Griffith

Most famous for: Playing “Andy” on the Andy Griffith Show

Teaching experience: Music and drama teacher at Goldsboro High School // Goldsboro, N.C.

Art Garfunkel

Most famous for: Being half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel

Teaching experience: Math teacher at Litchfield Preparatory School // Litchfield, Conn.

Bill O’Reilly

Most famous for: Hosting The O’Reilly Factor political commentary program

Teaching experience: English and history teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace High School // Opa-locka, Fla.

Dan Brown

Most famous for: Being a best-selling author

Teaching experience: English and Spanish teacher at Beverly Hills Prep // Calif., Phillips Exeter Academy and Lincoln Akerman School // N.H.

Gene Simmons

Most famous for: Co-founding the band Kiss

Teaching experience: Sixth grade teacher at Emily Dickinson School // New York, N.Y.

Jon Hamm

Most famous for: His role as “Don Draper” in Mad Men

Teaching experience: Acting teacher at John Burroughs School // St. Louis, Mo.

Kris Kristofferson

Most famous for: Being an American country music singer, songwriter, musician and film actor

Teaching experience: English teacher at West Point // West Point, N.Y.

Lyndon Johnson

Most famous for: Being the 36th President of the United States

Teaching experience: Teacher at Welhausen School, Pearsall High School and Sam Houston High School // Texas

Laurence Tureaud, a.k.a. Mr. T

Most famous for: The 1980s television series The A-Team

Teaching experience: Physical education teacher at Chicago Public Schools // Chicago, Ill.

President Barack Obama

Most famous for: Being the 44th President of the United States

Teaching experience: Professor at the University of Chicago – Law School // Chicago, Ill.

Robert Frost

Most famous for: American poet and playwright

Teaching experience: English teacher at Pinkerton Academy and New Hampshire Normal School // N.H.

Sheryl Crow

Most famous for: American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and political activist

Teaching experience: Music teacher at Kellison Elementary School // Ballwin, Mo.

Sylvester Stallone

Most famous for: His role in the films Rocky and Rambo

Teaching experience: Physical education teacher at American College of Switzerland // Leysin, Switzerland

Sir William Golding

Most famous for: Writing Lord of the Flies

Teaching experience: English and philosophy teacher at Bishop Wordsworth’s School // Wiltshire, U.K.

Stephen King

Most famous for: Writing American contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy books

Teaching experience: English teacher at Hampden Academy // Hampden, ME


Most famous for: Co-founding the band The Police

Teaching experience: English teacher at St. Paul’s First School // Cramlington, U.K.

JK Rowling

Most famous for: Writing the Harry Potter series

Teaching experience: English as a foreign language at Portuguese Language Institute // Manhattan, N.Y.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


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This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

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