By Alex Garofalo, ibtimes.com
A 4th grade class at Jane Stenson Elementary School in Chicago might have the coolest teacher in the country.
Going back to school is always a drag for kids. But 4th grade teacher Dwayne Reed found a way to soften the blow of summer coming to an end. Reed prepared a music video for his class at Jane Stenson Elementary School in which he raps about the joys of learning in a song called “Welcome to the 4th Grade.” Elementary education might be a corny theme for a hip hop track, but Reed’s rhymes are no joke. Now the video, which Reed shared last week, is going viral.
“Hello, I’m your teacher/My name’s Mr. Reed and it’s very nice to meet ya” Reed raps. “It’s my first year teaching so it’s all real exciting/Got some ideas and I’d really like to try them/Like making up songs to remember what you hear/We’ll be learning so much by the end of the year.”
Reed, a first year teacher, is a native of Chicago. His Twitter bio reads simply, “Believer. Teacher.” He is originally from East Garfield Park, a suburban neighborhood just north of the city, but he now lives in Skokie near Jane Stenson Elementary School.
“I think I’m somewhat gifted at music. It’s simply a way for me to try to connect with my students,” Reed told Chicago’s NBC5. “Regardless of how cheesy it is, if it helps them remember something, if it helps them excel on the test, or in life, I’m fine with it, I’m backing it.”
The video, which now has more than 170,000 views on YouTube as of Wednesday, was shot and directed by local filmmaker Ty Gotham. Reed penned the lyrics of the song and recorded it with producer Stevo Thompson. Reed is getting a lot of attention for the video. He appeared on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning and now even comedian Ellen DeGeneres is a fan.
Reed says he plans on using music throughout the school year to help students remember his lessons, so fans can expect some new tracks from the upstart rapper in the near future.