How Abbott Elementary’s Writers’ Room Produces Such Great Work is a new interview at Slate with Brittani Nichols, one of the writers at the Abbott Elementary show.
It’s a very lengthy one and I was surprised that only a small part related to their direct contact with teachers. Here’s that portion (you can see my previous posts about this great show here):
June Thomas: Mm hmm. Mm. You know, you just mentioned something. You know, this this happens to male teachers. What’s the kind of research process for a show that is set in an elementary school? You know, what kind of research have you done for the sort of educational or the school life aspects of your setting? So we don’t.
Brittani Nichols: Have any mandates as far as what we need to be reading or looking up. Yeah, I think a lot of us just are, you know, sort of well read people that have been keeping an eye on some of the issues that we touch on. And so whenever we come across like an article or a book or something that someone thinks it could be helpful to people they write for the show, we just sort of send it out and say, Hey, you know, you all want to check this out. We do interviews with teachers, so we’ve talked to teachers from the Philadelphia public school system. We actually talked to a woman who works for the Los Angeles public school system. She works under one of the people that’s on the Board of Education. And she talked to us a lot about charter schools and the way that that is impacting specifically Los Angeles that, you know, we’ve also looked into how it is impacting Philadelphia.
Brittani Nichols: And then we also have just this treasure trove of of our own personal histories with Quincy, his mom being a teacher. My mom or my stepmother is a teacher. My aunt is a teacher’s aide. I’ve done, you know, a little bit of teaching. When I was in college. So many of the writers in our room have very close connections to teachers and even the actors. A lot of them have family members that are teachers. And so it’s you know, luckily it’s one of those things where it’s like almost everyone is in the school. It’s yeah, it’s not hard to to come up with scenarios and and situations that you yourself have faced.
Brittani Nichols: I went to an underfunded black public school. I saw firsthand and grew up firsthand with a lot of the the things that we’re tackling in the show. So, you know, we do do some research, but it’s one of those things where, you know, we are people that have been impacted by these systems. We are people that are products of these systems. And, you know, so I think we all sort of all just from job have have a lot to say.