Jesse Williams Opens Up About His Time as a Teacher: ‘I Totally Felt Like Kindergarten Cop’

We may refer to him as Dr. Jackson Avery, but did you know that before landing his role on Grey’s Anatomy Jesse Williams had a career as a teacher? 

PureWow recently sat down with the 40-year-old actor about his latest partnership with Subaru and for the new education initiative, Subaru Loves Learning, dedicated to supporting schools and students in need. As part of its mission to make learning more accessible for as many students as possible, Williams, who was once a school teacher, and the companies are helping to provide school supplies and learning materials to help more than 114,000 students in need and more than 4,700 classrooms.

During the chat, the Grey’s star spoke candidly about his time as a student and educator in underprivileged schools. 

“I was a student in very under-resourced schools growing up and I became a teacher in under-resourced schools so I've seen both peer-to-peer and student-to-student the role that having a lack of supplies can have on students. It can really weigh them down.”

And since we had no idea he was a teacher before his acting career took off, we asked the actor which grades he taught and which were his favorite. 

“Primarily high school, but I did some time as a long-term sub in kindergarten and seventh grade,” Williams continued. “High school is my favorite just because of my ability to connect with the students. I think it stems from the fact that high school was a real shift, a real fork in the road for me as a student and it helped me get on the right track. It was a real hinge point in my life so I think that's what drew me to it. But kindergarten was a lot of fun. Always an adventure, it certainly helped me prepare more for parenthood than anything else. I totally felt like Kindergarten Cop.”

We wish we could have had Dr. Avery Mr. Williams as a teacher when we were in school. 

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