Not all actors and actresses immediately hit it big — and while they’re waiting for the role that’ll be their breakthrough, they’ve still got to pay the bills. Kerry Washington was a substitute teacher, which we think is incredibly endearing. What better way to spend time off-set than helping educate the leaders of tomorrow?

But there was one moment when she realized that she might have to give up the gig. And as she explained on The Late Show last night, it was when her classroom became less of a place to learn, and more of a place to gaze at a real, live actress.

Washington admitted to host Stephen Colbert that after she got the role of Chenille in the 2001 film Save The Last Dance, things changed a bit. Washington starred alongside Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas in the movie, which was one of her first big roles.

We can’t say we blame them, especially since Save The Last Dance was a big movie for high-schoolers back in the day. Much like chewing gum and virtual pets, having Washington in the classroom was a cool distraction.

While Washington doesn’t need to supplement her income with teaching these days, we think it’s pretty incredible that she knows how to handle any sort of situation, inside the classroom and out.