Teachers at Jennings school use hip-hop to motivate students

4:03 PM, Apr 16, 2012   |    comments
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By Heidi Glaus

Jennings, MO (KSDK) - There are very few students who look forward to taking the EOC, also known as the end of course exam.

"If you will open up to page 838 for me," Benicia Nanez told her students.

So this year, Nanez, Chair of the English department at Jennings High School, decided to motivate the student body a little differently.

"I was, like, where are we going with this?" said Michael Ferrer, Principal at Jennings High School.

It was something her principal doubted at first; to be honest, so did her colleagues.

"I sent out an email no one came to the meeting," Nanez said.

But her persistence paid off and 12 teachers and both principals finally agreed to be part of a video.

"Initially we were just going to do like a dance montage to the video and then the science teachers actually were like hey how about we do our own words," Nanez said.

So they decided to write their own rap.

"I don't know anything about rap, but I figured I could hold my own try it, bust out some beats," said Jessica Young, a physical science and physics teacher.

The thing is these aren't just words strung together, but rather content strategies for the test. And most importantly it's working.

"The auditorium was very loud after the first viewing of the video and it seemed like more excitement like yeah I have to crunch down on this test because my teachers are pushing me in a way that I'm not really used to them pushing me," said Kiley Stayton, a student.

Of course the teachers aren't getting extra credit for coolness.
No, not at all they still call us lame," Nanez said.

But students are singing the song.

"They laugh hysterically at us and think we try to be super fly, but if they're understanding and remembering it and they're singing it as they walk down the hallways that's totally what it was for," Young said.


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