Listen to this article here

School is out — or almost out — for the summer, and your kid’s teacher has a viral message for all parents: “Keep them kids, keep them kids, keep them kids.”

That’s the refrain made popular by Yazzmin Johnson, a third grade teacher and TikTok creator from Missouri, whose recent TikTok music video has become a veritable hit within the #teachertok community.

YouTube video

“It’s summer break, don’t call me ‘Ms.’ Time to have fun, not grading a quiz,” Johnson lip-syncs in a May 18 post that has garnered over 33,000 views, according to Good Morning America.

The lighthearted video clip features Johnson lip-syncing to her own rendition of rapper iCandy’s “Keep Dat,” with teacher-friendly lyrics swapped in.

Johnson, who has been teaching for five years, said she loves her profession but wanted to post the funny video to celebrate the end of the school year and everything her peers achieved.

Johnson said she didn’t expect her video to go viral, especially since it didn’t get many views the first couple of days after she shared it.

Outside of the classroom, Johnson loves to sing and see the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team play.

“It was maybe two days later and I told my husband, I was like, ‘I think this is a flop. The song is a bop but I think it’s a flop.’ But it’s OK, I do it for fun, you know?” she said. “And after those two days passed, [a young lady], she made a video [using my version of the song], and then someone else made a video, and then someone else made a video, and before long, their videos had thousands of views.”

Black teachers are clutch to closing the racial achievement gap

UNC Chapel Hill’s Constance A. Lindsay’s research focuses on policies and practices to close racial achievement gaps in education. Currently, her main focus is on teacher diversity and how to obtain a high quality, diverse educator workforce.

Exposure to a large share of same-race teachers significantly reduced the number of reported incidents for Black students, particularly for the types of offenses that required subjective evaluation, suggesting that teacher discretion may play a role in those outcomes. Black teachers may be less likely to make discretionary referrals for Black students for “defiance,” for example.

They found that having a Black teacher for one year in elementary school raised long-run educational attainment for Black male students, especially for those from low-income households. For the most disadvantaged Black males, Lindsay and the team estimated that exposure to a Black teacher in elementary school reduced high school dropout rates by 39% and raised college-going aspirations.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...