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Pop Culture

Jimmy Kimmel hosted an emotional reunion between 'Abbott Elementary' creator and her sixth-grade teacher

Jimmy Kimmel hosted an emotional reunion between 'Abbott Elementary' creator and her sixth-grade teacher

"Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson named her hit TV show after her beloved sixth grade teacher.

Few people have as profound an effect on a child's life as a teacher does. Most of us have educators who stand out in our memories for the way they taught us, encouraged us, challenged us or nurtured us. The powerful impact of a good teacher is priceless, which is why a surprise reunion between "Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson and her sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Abbott, is giving people all the warm-hearted feelings.

"Abbott Elementary" is an ABC mockumentary sitcom that debuted in December and has been getting rave reviews. It follows the daily life of teachers, administrators and students in a Philadelphia public school. People are loving it—especially teachers.

Jimmy Kimmel brought the show's creator Quinta Brunson onto his late-night show for an interview, and as they got chatting he pointed out that "Abbott Elementary" was named after a former teacher of Brunson's—Ms. Abbott from sixth grade. And when she showed up on a huge screen behind them, Brunson almost immediately started crying.


The joyful exchange they had was sweet, but it also illustrated how incredible teachers can be. Educators who have been in the classroom for a whole career have taught hundreds, if not thousands, of kids, and yet they can so often remember details about individual students who came through their classroom.

Watch:

The first thing Ms. Abbott said was, "I'm so proud of you!" Of course. Not only did Ms. Abbott remember Quinta Brunson, but she gave details about what kind of student she was.

"When she came into my class, she was really shy, timid," Abbott said. But she challenged her students and built up their confidence, and Brunson blossomed and "came out of her shell" during that school year.

Ms. Abbott told Kimmel that she was preparing to retire after teaching for nearly 30 years, and Kimmel surprised her with a special gift—an all-expenses paid, first-class, 5-day trip for two.

"You don't have to take Quinta with you, but she kind of did name the show after you," Kimmel joked.

As a teacher, seeing your students grow up to succeed in whatever they put their mind and heart into is rewarding enough. But every teacher who dedicates themselves to their students deserves this kind of extra gift as a thank-you for the work and the care they put into helping students grow and learn. And having an entire TV show named after you? That's just icing on the cake.

Congratulations to Quinta Brunson on the success of "Abbott Elementary" and to Ms. Abbott for the deserved recognition she's received from it. Teachers are heroes who should be highlighted like this more often, so seeing this joyful reunion and celebration is lovely to see.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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