Quinta Brunson, a Black comedian from Western Philadelphia, is best known for creating, executive producing, co-writing, and starring in the award-winning TV series Abbott Elementary. For those who don’t know anything about Abbott Elementary, it is a mockumentary-style comedy show surrounding a group of hard-working, dedicated, and passionate teachers at a Philadelphia public school; it is also one of my new favorite shows.
Abbott does an excellent job of highlighting common obstacles that teachers and public school systems face, especially those in areas with larger marginalized populations. Although the school faces underfunding and often a lack of access to resources, the teachers strive to uplift their students and create a community of care and love to help them succeed.
The show also brings various feminist issues into the media and demonstrates the realities of formal and informal barriers that are often neglected and undermined in our society. It portrays Black women, men, and children in ways that are uplifting and positive, countering negative narratives we often see in entertainment that reinforce racist and discriminatory perceptions about Black and other marginalized groups.
Using Abbott’s popularity and platform, Quinta Brunson advocates for higher teacher wages and recognition, as well as attention to the need for public school funding and resources. The production has partnered with multiple charities to help with these issues and has dedicated a portion of its marketing budget to resourcing schools. Still, Brunson makes sure to pressure government agencies to tackle these issues as well. Although the series has the ability to assist with some of the adversities portrayed in the show, prominent change cannot be achieved without institutional changes.
As a daughter of two parents in education, I have a lot of empathy for teachers and feel I understand the absurdities and lack of recognition they face on a daily basis. There is no hiding the fact that many teachers’ hard work and dedication go under-recognized, or that many schools in lower socioeconomic areas are often underfunded and neglected.
My mom is a teacher at an elementary school with a diverse population and somewhat in a lower-class area. I have heard her complain about the lack of attention, recognition, and resources our public school system provides for her school and its teachers. She loves her students and loves teaching, but the lack of assistance from the county (one that is more than capable of allocating funds and support) and how often she feels her work goes underappreciated have left her exhausted and ready for retirement.
When we fail to appreciate and assist our teachers and school systems when they are some of the most crucial parts of our children’s growth and education, we neglect the value and importance of their roles in society. I think a lot of parents discovered during Covid lockdown how difficult it can be to entertain, occupy, and educate children on a daily basis without interruption or frustration. Our teachers create environments for kids to navigate their identities and interests while also teaching them valuable information and skills they will use for the rest of their lives.
It is time to start prioritizing an allocation of resources and funding for our school systems and appreciating the teachers who put in so many hours of hard work to love and educate our children. By raising their wages and supporting them regardless of stress or need, more teachers will be rightfully recognized for the countless hours of work they put into bettering the lives of children and communities.
I hope that this post inspires some of you to take a look at Abbott Elementary and the work that Quinta Brunson and the show’s production company are doing to better our public school systems and increase teacher wages. It is the perfect combination of comedic, heartwarming, and thought-provoking entertainment, and is one of the few (currently airing) shows I sit down to watch every week!
Featured image from Abbott Elementary on Twitter
3 thoughts on “Abbott Elementary: Supporting Public Schools & Teachers”
I loved reading this. A lot of your points were awesome. Teachers help us so much! I personally have had so many times when teachers have genuinely impacted my life for the better.
Thank you for sharing this! I have never watched Abbott Elementary but this post inspired me to take a look at it!
This was such a fun topic for a blog post. I really enjoyed reading this and I definitely want to check out Abbott Elementary!