Sometimes, school can be fun. For this class in Georgia, it really was. Ron Clark, a math teacher at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, is already teacher of the year basically, and it’s only the first week of 2016. So why are they getting buzz? He and his students made a video of their dance for rapper DLOW’s “Do It Like Me” challenge.
If you’ve ever been in a classroom as a teacher (which I have), you know how difficult it is to get kids to do anything (like taking their homework out), so the fact that Clark was able to get them to do a synchronized dance is incredible. Clark is also no stranger to the media either–according to Time, he’s a Global Teacher Prize finalist and he’s even been interviewed by Oprah. Yes, people, Oprah.
His students asked if they could participate in the challenge, and he agreed. Clark posted the video on January 3rd, and it’s already been shared over 70,000 times.
Clark told the Huffington Post he agreed to do it, because he wants his students to be excited about school, not bored:
“School should be exciting to them. You’ve got to know who your kids are and show them that you care about their culture. You may not be a dancer but you’ve got to find a way to reach the kids or else you’re going to lose them.”
As a former teacher myself, I know how important it is to actually engage students in activities they feel passionate about. Maybe it seems weird, or even inappropriate, to have kids rapping and dancing to popular songs in school, but really, they’ll learn a lot more if teachers are willing to hear them out and use pop culture in ways they can relate to. Which is how adults learn too, not just children.
Watch the dance below–it’s pretty adorable (and hilarious to watch Clark):