I don’t know about you, but I am not a morning person. At all. I will freely admit that I let my kids wake up before me, get on their iPads, or turn on the TV. I roll out of bed at the last possible minute, and I pretty much can’t accomplish a damn thing until my first cup of coffee (or two) is finished.
I was like that as a kid, too (except back then, I didn’t have coffee to save me!), and it took me at least an hour to feel like I could concentrate on those super-early school days. I was always a good student in the end, and usually liked school, but boy did those mornings kill me (hello, 7:15 bus pick-up, how did I survive you?).
That’s why I was totally blown away when I saw the morning routine that a 4th-grade teacher named Bethany Humphrey does with her students at Somerset Academy, in Henderson, Nevada.
To start the foot-stomping, hand-clapping, and totally inspirational morning routine, Humphrey tells Babble that she rewrote the lyrics to the hip hop song “Juju on That Beat” and taught her kids moves from the viral dance routine. (You can download the lyrics to her version here.)
Humphrey shared a video of her students performing the morning routine on Instagram November 7, and — unsurprisingly — it immediately went viral, with over 34K views, and 600 comments, before it was also uploaded to YouTube.
And if you take a quick peek at the video, I think you’ll see why.
“Walk into class and I know my teacher gets me,” the song begins, with a classroom full of bright-eyed kids standing up, stamping, clapping, dancing, and singing right along. “Thinking cap on and I know I’m learning quickly,” the routine continues, “Hey, hey, hey, hey / okay, okay,” the kids shout, swaying their arms, “Let’s get ready to learn!”
I swear, every time I watch the video, I start bobbing my head to the beat, and wishing I could go back to 4th-grade and have Ms. Humphrey as my teacher!
But in all seriousness, it’s really wonderful to see a teacher like Humphrey, who is doing everything in her power to motivate her students, and who has the wisdom to incorporate music and movement in her students’ daily routine. There’s a ton of research out there showing that movement is vital to learning, but that students these days are spending way too much time chained to their desks. Humphrey’s routine is definitely a breath of fresh air, and a direction all teachers might thinking about taking.
Humphrey tells Babble that she has absolutely noticed her students are benefitting from their invigorating morning routine.
“Starting our day on this note has motivated students to come to school and be on time,” says Humphrey. “They are excited to walk in the door and get ready to learn. Often times your mornings aren’t purposeful, and with this song, students come into the room, drop their backpacks, stand beside their desks and get ready to sing. It takes us two minutes to get pumped up and ready to start our day.”
And those two minutes of inspiration fuel the kids for the long haul. Humphrey says that she has noticed that her kids have been extra motivated all day, since she began the routine.
“It kickstarts our day,” Humphrey tells Babble. “The song is more than just a song; it affects their attitudes throughout the whole day. They don’t just sing the lyrics. They act upon them.”
And Ms. Humphrey and her students are motivating teachers across the country, too. Heather Finch, a second grade teacher at St. John Catholic School in Memphis, Tennessee adopted Humphrey’s morning routine with her own class, and the results have been equally amazing. Finch’s video was shared on her school’s Facebook page on November 11, and it’s also going crazy-viral, with 95K likes and 76K shares.
“The video has made my student so excited to start our day,” Finch tells Babble. “We just did it about an hour ago and they all have such a positive attitude towards the beginning of our school day. The video going viral has been surreal. It is so heart warming to read the kind comments from people around the country. I am so happy to spread a positive message.”
But Humphrey is totally humble about the matter, and is most excited about how her “viral” morning routine is affecting her students. She says her students are proud, and “beyond excited” to see their fun routine being shared all over.
The world definitely needs more teachers like Humphrey because she doesn’t just teach academics, but offers her students true life skills, and an important daily dose of hope and happiness.