PITTSBURG (KPIX 5) — It’s important for teachers to reach their students if they want them to learn. But at Pittsburg’s Los Medanos Elementary, one teacher is reaching out to the world and it’s making a world of difference.
In Dorothy Honey Mallari’s 2nd grade class, everything is a performance. The classroom rules are recited in a chant with plenty of theatrics.
But each year, Ms. Mallari rewrites the lyrics to a popular song for a daily good-morning pick-me-up. This year it came from rapper Lizzo’s hit “Truth Hurts.” And while the original lyrics weren’t exactly appropriate for children, the infectious musical hook to the song was perfect.
“And when the song came on — the Kid’s Bop version — they were really digging it,” Mallari said. “And so I said, ‘OK, this is the song we’re going to do it to.'”
But they didn’t just sing the teacher’s reworked version of song; they performed it on camera and the video on Facebook is going viral. The lyrics that Mallari and the class wrote talk about class rules, but also about working hard in class and the way students should treat each other.
By Wednesday evening, just over 24 hours after it was originally posted, the video had amassed over 169,000 views on Facebook.
“When we get the rules in, like, a song, then it gets us focused. It gets us ready,” said 7-year-old student Jefer Borrios.
And because it is a shared group effort, the song has brought everyone closer together.
“It makes us feel happy in the morning and it makes us feel like a family,” said 8-year old Hayden Wiebe, surrounded by her classmates.
Ms. Mallari’s energy lights up the room and her use of music has made fans not just on the Internet, but of the students themselves.
“She makes a difference of school, because other teachers just do normal things,” said class member Jaxson Sanchez.
When asked if Ms. Mallari wasn’t normal, Jaxson confirmed: “Yeah, she’s not normal.” But he then admitted it’s fun to be “not normal” sometimes.
The teacher says she started out teaching through the books, but discovered that music helped students connect with each other and says everyday is a new adventure for them.
And now — in Mrs. Mallari’s class — everyone works hard to be not normal. And they’ve become a family because of it.