Local teachers rap, sing in educational videos to connect with students during COVID-19 pandemic

As parents and educators scramble to provide online learning resources and homework guidelines to kids who are home during the COVID-19 crisis, some teachers in the D.C. region are taking a different approach. 

“We wanna make connections,” said Michael Doggett, a teacher at Hallie Wells Middle School in Clarksburg. “Right now, my way of connecting with students is through my hip-hop program. Maybe look at this as an opportunity to really do something that we have never tried.”

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in the District, Maryland and Virginia

Doggett is an English teacher but has been engaging students in his kid-friendly hip-hop program for years.

So while his students, along with a thousand others across the DMV are at home because of the COVID-19 crisis — he figured, why not ask them how they’re doing by rapping to them in a video. Doggette said, this is his way of letting his students know that he misses them.

“The idea is asking students, ‘Hey what have you been doing? Where have you been? What can we do? What can we work on?'” he explained. 

And it seems Doggett isn’t the only teacher who is finding creative ways of staying connected.

Jennifer Boice of Diamond Elementary School is making an effort to post a music video of her playing the guitar every day of the week until kids go back to school.

“Musical talent or not, some teachers with Fairfax County Public Schools are offering to just give their time online.

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While some of them are reading a storybook aloud or demonstrating a science project, the one thing these educators have in common is that the teaching never stops.” 

“Let’s just get back to the basics of what made us want to be teachers in the first place,” said Doggett, “let’s do the things that our kids are going to remember, let’s use this time to step outside of the box and not worry so much about the directions.”