by Tiffani Greenaway of

He may not be accepting a Grammy any time soon, but Chicago teacher Dwayne Reed is inspiring his students.

Reed, a first year teacher at Jane Stenson Elementary School in north suburban Skokie, dabbed on the traditional “welcome back” newsletter with a music video. Working with local talent to collaborate a fun rap, Reed got his 4th graders in the back to school spirit.

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'When you do good work, I'll acknowledge, 
because I know you're headed off to work or to college.'

In his video, he stresses the importance of hard work, respect, and community. More than 35 percent of public school students in the U.S. are African American or Hispanic, but roughly 2 percent of all public school teachers are black males.

Dr. Robert Palmer, Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Howard University, stresses the importance of these teachers, saying, “Black male faculty members are critical because they serve as role models to African Americans and other men of color who may have lacked access to such individuals.” (source) Reed is part of the small group helping to usher kids to academic success.

So we gotta keep it positive. That's the key.
Have respect for each other - and don't forget me.
Have respect for yourselves and the staff and the school.
Having fun can be cool when we're following the rules.

Watch Reed’s viral video and get excited about going back to school!


Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at

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