These Celebrities’ Favorite Teachers Are Making Us Weepy

If you’ve felt the weight of the school year on your shoulders lately, we have something that will lighten your load. Actually, Adele, Quinta Brunson, America Ferrera, and their contemporaries have something that will lighten your load: a TikTok montage of celebrities’ favorite teachers.

In a truly heartening display of gratitude and appreciation, this TikTok has captured the attention of educators worldwide, with over 2 million likes. Featuring a lineup of beloved celebrities sharing anecdotes about their favorite teachers, the video reminds us of the impact we have on lives far beyond the classroom and school year. Teaching in a time when it’s easy to feel powerless, hearing these luminaries reminisce about the mentors who left an indelible mark on their lives serves as a powerful reminder: We matter. The work we do matters.

What we love about this TikTok

  • The excitement and emotion in each reunion. It’s like the celebrities are awestruck!
  • America Ferrera’s thank-you to her teacher. “Every person who sees you and sees your talent and believes in you and tells you to keep going … they’re your lifeline.”
  • How America talks with her hands. Us too, America!
  • Steven Colbert’s teacher pinning the gold star on him. So sweet!
  • How proud all these teachers are. But not shocked at their former students’ successes. After all, they believed in them all along!

Who was in that TikTok?

If you blinked and missed some of these celebs and their favorite educators (or if you’re wracking your brain trying to remember who one of them is), don’t worry—we’ve got you. Here are the celebrities and their favorite teachers, in the order they appear:

  • Singer Adele and Ms. McDonald
  • Actress Quinta Brunson and Ms. Abbott, the namesake who inspired her show, “Abbott Elementary”!
  • Comedian Stephen Colbert and Mrs. Katsos (now Ms. Keelin)
  • TV personality Jeannie Mai and Mr. Henschke
  • Actress America Ferrera and Mrs. Freitag
  • TV personality and actress Adrienne Bailon and Mrs. Goodman
  • Arsenal legend Ian Wright and his schoolteacher Sydney Pigden
  • Actor Tyrese Gibson and his music teacher and mentor Reggie Andrews
  • Actor Will Poulter (teachers, you’ll know him as Gally from The Maze Runner film series) and Ms. Moran

Why it matters that we know celebrities’ favorite teachers

Celebrities capture our attention. When they talk about their favorite teachers (“They’re just like us!”), we pay attention. By publicly recognizing educators’ influence in a positive way, they highlight the vital role of mentors in shaping future generations. This acknowledgment resonates with fans, fostering a culture of gratitude and support for education. Through advocacy, they spark dialogue about investing in education, driving positive change in policies and resources. Ultimately, by sharing heartfelt tributes, celebrities pay homage to mentors while inspiring others to appreciate and support educators worldwide.

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