Celebrities Talk About The Influence Of Their Favorite Teachers

celebrities talk teachersTeachers give so much to students, families and communities. For this reason, it is nice to be able to give them the recognition they deserve during Teacher Appreciation Week. They work hard making sure kids get excellent education, encouragement and support, helping them achieve dreams, with very little thanks and praise.

We’ve scoured the internet to find what some of our favorite celebrities have shared about their favorite teachers and how their lives were influenced by them. Here we share 10 memories of some of today’s most famous people’s best educators.

Al Roker

Named Best Weatherman twice by New York Magazine, Al Roker is a feature reporter. He’s interviewed fascinating people like Peanuts creator Charles Shultz before his death. He credits elementary school teacher, Eleanor Fryer from New York’s St. Catherine Of Sienna School, for believing in him.

Oprah Winfrey

Talk show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey praises her fourth grade teacher, Mary Duncan from Tennessee’s Wharton Elementary School, for being inspirational. Oprah feels teachers are crucial influences in children’s lives and credits Mrs. Duncan with instilling a lifelong love of learning.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin is an actor from a large family, including four other actors. Alec admires Bernice Hoffman, his fourth grade teacher who recognized special leadership qualities very early. She nurtured these qualities and taught Alec that he could do anything. She once asked him to save her a seat at his future inauguration.

Edie Falco

Multi award-winning actress, famous for her Carmela Soprano role in HBO’s “The Sopranos”, Edie praised teacher Sandy Valerio for teaching her to always do her best and that she is the instrument used in her craft.

Guy Fieri

Television chef and entrepreneur, Guy credits middle school history teacher, Fran Fischer, for instilling the belief that he could succeed. She taught him to harness his seemingly boundless energy in positive ways and helped by inspiring and mentoring him.

Laura Bush

Former First Lady Laura Bush was inspired by her second grade teacher, Charlene Gnagy, to continue her education until she earned an Bachelor of Science in Education Degree and a Library Science Master’s Degree. She credits Charlene for her love of learning and inspiration for teaching.

James Franco

James Franco is an actor famous for roles in the films “Whatever It Takes” and “Blind Spot”. He has profound admiration for his high school Journalism teacher, Esther Wojcicki, for treating students as professionals and believing in their talents.

Marg Helgenberger

Actress Marg Helgenberger acknowledges high school English teacher Mariann von Rein for discovering her true talent and encouraging her acting pursuits. Mariann convinced Marg to join the speech team, which fostered self-confidence.

Miranda Lambert

This award-winning country music artist credits two high school teachers, April Coker and Janice Caldwell, for instilling confidence in her. With constant lessons of perseverance, they helped shape Miranda into a confident talent.

Carrie Underwood

Multi-platinum and award-winning country artist Carrie Underwood commends her mother and two sisters who are all teachers. Her mother has taught for 25 years. Carrie admires her for shaping children’s lives. Her sisters taught kindergarten, first and fifth grades. Carrie says that teaching runs in her family.

Teachers play an important role in shaping young people’s lives. Without their thoughtfulness and exceptional teaching skills, many celebrities might not have found fame and success. In today’s society where teachers are often under-appreciated  it is refreshing to hear about them being held in such high regard from some of today’s most high profile and successful people.

About the Author

Sharon White  has been teaching elementary school for 15 years and writes frequently for blogs and other online resources about her vocation.  More of what she has to say about teaching and education as a career can be found at Top 10 Best Online Masters in Special Education Degree Programs.

A Golden Apple for Teacher Appreciation Week

teacher appreciationIn the United States, Teacher Appreciation Week falls during the second week of May. Often students will show appreciation to their teachers with gifts, but Teacher Appreciation Week is a community-wide festivity.

Teacher Appreciation Week is spearheaded by the National Education Association. The National Education Association calls Teacher Appreciation Week a time for honoring teachers and their lasting impact on the lives of millions of youngsters.

Recent Developments

During the last week of April, board members from the National Education Association petitioned congressmen to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 126 as well as House Resolution 167, according to NEAToday.Org. The source went on to say that both bills are designed to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher Day. National Teacher Day was celebrated on May 7th this year.

Suggestions for Spreading the Word

The National Education Association’s website lists ways in which everyday people can spread the message of Teacher Appreciation Week. The top suggestion on the National Education Association’s website is to bolster awareness by liking a teacher on Facebook. The idea is to publicly credit a teacher who had a positive impact on one’s life. The National Education Association’s website also features cover images that users may affix to their Twitter or Facebook accounts.

The National Education Association recommends petitioning Congress to increase the salaries and benefits of teachers around the country. In addition, the National Education Association provides links to thank a local educator or post teacher appreciation videos. The NEA website even offers site goers the chance to nominate a teacher as People Magazine’s Teacher of the Year.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week technically falls between May 6th and May 10th in the United States, but teacher appreciation day was May 7th this year. It is worth noting that even the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, notes the importance of celebrating teachers in May. Duncan summarized the teaching profession as joyful, complex and important.  Duncan proceeded to encourage students and parents to show their appreciation to the 3.2 million teachers fostering robust minds and ironclad virtue in tomorrow’s leaders.

In addition, the Secretary of Education noted the importance that technology and knowledge will play in tomorrow’s economic landscape. Arne Duncan stated that the onus and challenge of creating citizens ready to tackle these technological nuances falls mostly on the shoulders of teachers. Duncan culminated his address by noting that teaching falls between an art and science, and Duncan ended by noting that teaching is above all a public service. Teacher Appreciation Week is a chance to laud teachers for their selfless service.

Although Teacher Appreciation Week occurs in May in the United States, World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on October 5th internationally. The idea behind World Teachers’ Day is to commemorate the efforts of teachers worldwide and ensure that tomorrow’s minds are well-trained for an increasingly complex and interconnected future economy. It has been UNESCO’s finding that World Teachers’ Day enhances awareness and appreciation for teachers on a global scale.

Regardless of what the calendar says, teachers should be appreciated and celebrated every day of the year for their selfless devotion to their profession and the young lives they are helping mold.