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Idea of a rapping teacher sound awkward? Actually, he's awesome.

It may sound dorky, but wait till you hear him to judge.

Idea of a rapping teacher sound awkward? Actually, he's awesome.
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Old Navy Back to School

The idea of a teacher rapping probably makes you want to cringe, right? A for effort ... and for awkward.

But Mr. Reed stunned students when he came up with an awesome rhyme-infused rap designed to get his new fourth-graders pumped for the new school year.

The music video was called "Welcome to the Fourth Grade," and his students were totally feeling it. For obvious reasons, it went viral in August 2016.


Reed in his music video, "Welcome to the Fourth Grade." Image via Mr. Reed/YouTube.

His love of rap coupled with the ridiculous amount of excitement over the video made him eager to incorporate music into school life as often as he could.

So Reed spent much of the school year encouraging kids to embrace their own creativity and musicality. Some even got together to make their own music video, which was featured on the local news.

Tomorrow, a few kids from the hood will perform their very own song on the local news. I don't care what anyone says: if you give kids the tools and the opportunities to be great, they will, every.single.time.

Posted by Mr. Dwayne Reed on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today, Mr. Reed is continuing to spread his inspiring message in a new video series he helped put together with teachers across the country.

The video series powered by Old Navy was created to launch its cause platform of the same name, ONward! The album features several new songs written and performed by teachers about how they take the next generation to the next level. The songs celebrate the more "awesome" aspects of school, aka reasons kids should be amped about going back.

His offering — "Welcome Back to School" — makes one cool introduction to the fifth-graders at LEARN Campbell elementary in Chicago, where Reed is headed this fall.

He first caught our attention with his viral musical approach to teaching kids. Now, thanks to the #ONward program, he and other like-minded teachers are back with an entire album.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, July 24, 2017

Another teacher, Beth Fortune of Washington Middle School in Seattle, wrote and performed this delightful country tune with three of her students about remaining true to who you are. It's called "Be Myself."

Teachers really can make rapping and singing look cool. Well, some teachers anyway.

The first days of school should be about showing off all that individuality, not covering up or squeezing into a mold to fit in.

Embracing yourself is the best way to not just become a rock-star learner, but tomorrow's leader. So whether you can rap, spell really long words, or just rock neon green socks, remember that it's details like these that help make you unforgettable.

Here we are, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, and people are tired. We're tired of social distancing, wearing masks, the economic uncertainty, the constant debates and denials, all of it.

But no one is more tired than the healthcare workers on the frontline. Those whom we celebrated and hailed as heroes months ago have largely been forgotten as news cycles shift and increased illness and death become "normal." But they're still there. They're still risking themselves to save others. And they've been at it for a long time.

Mary Katherine Backstrom shared her experience as the wife of an ER doctor in Florida, explaining the impact this pandemic is having on the people treating its victims and reminding us that healthcare workers are still showing up, despite all of the obstacles that make their jobs harder.

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Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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Kids say the darnedest things and, if you're a parent, you know that can make for some embarrassing situations. Every parent has had a moment when their child has said something unintentionally inappropriate to a stranger and they prayed they wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Cassie, the mother of 4-year-old Camryn, had one of the those moments when her child yelled, "Black lives matter" to a Black woman at a Colorado Home Depot.

But the awkward interaction quickly turned sweet when the Black woman, Sherri Gonzales, appreciated the comment and thanked the young girl.

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