Benito Mussolini and Mr. T. It’s an oddball collection, filled with the strange and gifted, but what they all have in common is that they were schoolteachers first. Here’s a list of ten who were teachers.
Jon Hamm a.k.a. Don Draper – The five o’clock shadow man from Mad Men was a teacher in his own high school before he tore up Madison Avenue.
Lyndon Johnson – Politics was second; Johnson was set to become a career teacher. He was fully involved, coaching the debate team (vomiting when they lost). Only his passion for social reform pulled him away from the schoolhouse.
Art Garfunkel – Haven’t you always wondered about the brains in that high forehead? Well, he actually is a brainiac. Garfunkel was a math scholar and taught in a prep school before making pop music history.
John Adams – My favorite president, known for his grumpy ways was once a grumpy schoolmaster who complained that the students were a “large number of little runtlings, just capable of lisping A, B, C, and troubling the master.”
Mr. T – The original bling-bling, former bouncer is a well-read, college scholarship winner, devoted to young people. In the 1970s he was a gym teacher in the Chicago public school system.
Joy Behar – Undoubtedly, she had a view and a sense of humor in the classroom. Now widely know as having two shows and national recognition, this stand up comedian once taught high school English.
J.K. Rowling – Before she was rolling in millions by writing about magic and an owl, she was teaching English in Europe.
Stephen King – When you read King you know the man has poked the dipstick straight into the black heart of humanity. What about his students? Fortunately, there were no reports of sudden loss of affect, or strange smells emitting from the kids he taught in Maine.
Benito Mussolini – Before he was a fascist and while he was still a socialist, Mussolini taught elementary school. Parents were not fond of his drinking and gambling. He left his teaching assignment to become a full time dictator.
The Cochranes – John and Kathleen, my parents. In spite of Catholic educations, both of them became strong supporters of public schools and taught for many years in Sacramento. Even today, it’s hard to go places with my dad (at 92) without someone taking a second look and recognizing “Mr. Cochrane.”