“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” joined in the celebration of Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday, filling the studio audience with 200 New York City public school educators.
The selected teachers were all recipients, finalists or nominees for the Big Apple Awards, which recognizes teachers who inspire students and promote high-quality education in their communities.
“Teacher Appreciation Day is very special. It’s the one day each year when we tell our teachers there’s no one we’re more proud of, and our teachers are like ‘There’s no one of whom you are more proud,’” Fallon joked during his monologue. “Teacher Appreciation Day is a great time to give your teacher a card or an apple, or what they really deserve, a bottle of wine and a straw.”
Guests Trevor Noah and Gabrielle Union to join in on the education-centered episode, with Noah discussing his foundation, which aims to improve education in his native South Africa.
“One of the biggest things I had growing up was my mother was self-educated, and in South Africa during Apartheid black people weren’t given an access to education,” the “Daily Show” host told Fallon. “My mother still found a way to teach herself and because of her I got a chance to learn in good schools and because of that, every generation of my family will get better. Education is that one step, the stepping stone that gets people to the next level.”
The Trevor Noah Foundation has teamed up with Microsoft and Bill Gates to train teachers, bring computers into the classroom and give more children a chance for education. Remembering his own time in school, Noah said, “My favorite teachers were teachers who always engaged me in a way that made me feel like they loved the subject as much as they wanted me to love it. And those subjects, they stuck with me forever.”
Union helped out with a “Musical Morning Announcements” skit, and the episode included a “Freestylin’ with The Roots: Teachers Edition” segment.