One Milwaukee-area teacher is kicking it back to the ’90s by recreating a well-loved sitcom introduction to motivate his students to participate in gym class from afar. Taking inspiration from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” this teacher is becoming quite the viral hit on YouTube!
“Now this is a story all about how gym class got all turned upside down. I’d like to take a minute, let me clear my throat, so I can tell ya how Milwaukee Scholars does gym class remote.”
In just days since David Anderson, kindergarten through eighth-grade gym teacher at Milwaukee Scholars Charter School, posted his Fresh Prince of Milwaukee Scholars video on YouTube, he’s gotten over 900 views!
“I came up with this idea over the summer when I was reflecting on how remote learning went last spring,” Anderson shared. “At the end of last school year, my focus for gym class was on providing written lessons, activities, and games, but we saw limited success. My hope is that the video creates excitement around physical activity at home to dampen the disappointment that we cannot be playing together.”
He also shared that is he using his video as a launching point from which his scholars can use Flipgrid to submit videos of themselves participating in each week’s lesson.
“Since we are remote again, I've had to ramp up and get excited for remote PE as much as the kids have,” Anderson said. “I want to provide activities that are safe for scholars, using limited equipment that can be done individually.”
Principal Nikole Laskov shared that the song lyrics are incorporated into part of Milwaukee Scholars’ sixth-grade curriculum and that because Mr. Anderson is currently serving as a Pod Leader for the sixth grade, a natural connection was born. Since the school continues to learn in a fully remote environment, all non-classroom teachers are leading Pods throughout the school to offer additional support to classroom teachers. This helps ensure all members of the staff can stay connected and meet the various needs of scholars, across the school.
“Mr. Anderson, the best PE teacher ever, only gets to spend a small amount of time teaching his true passion, PE!” shared Laskov. “He is though, having an enormously positive impact on the sixth graders he is serving as a pod leader.”
POD leaders’ responsibilities during this time center around collaboration with classroom teachers to plan for small-group instruction, leading targeted small-group instruction for their pods, and communicating with their pods’ families, among others.
“My physical education classes focus on developing not only physical skills but also social and emotional learning,” Anderson shared. “Hopefully, the video aspect will help develop the whole child as we learn together how to learn remotely. Play is inherently social, and videos like this one will allow for safe and fun social interaction in an era of social distancing.”
Mr. Anderson’s video has become quite a hit, not only online but even locally. Adding to the excitement, Fox 6 recently shared the news along with snippets of the video, saying “hats off to teachers for going above and beyond, especially during these times.”