North Carolina teacher 'Mr. J' raps his way into students' hearts during COVID-19 pandemic

MT. AIRY, N.C. (WTVD) -- As students learn from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, one North Carolina teacher is helping them beat the COVID-19 blues by dropping some sick beats.

Adam Johnson is a fourth-grade teacher at Jones Intermediate School in Mount Airy. He's made rap videos for his kids during the extended closure for laughs, inspiration and hopefully a way to brighten someone's day during a hard time.


"We rap and sing and dance in my class on a regular basis," Johnston told WGHP. "So I think in this time of unknown, it's very important for our students to have some sense of normalcy, so that's why I made the video."

A recent video shows Johnson signing a parody of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok."

"Woke up this morning missing my students, I grabbed my keys and computer and went to the time to be sad, think about the learning that we've had...stay calm, you're the bomb! Mr. J will help you out!"

Johnson said he wants to show the kids that he misses them, but in an entertaining way that shows his passion for changing lives. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all K-12 public schools to close through May 15. Many districts are implementing remote learning strategies.

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"Especially in times like this where we don't know what tomorrow holds, we can lean on one another," he said. "And that relationship piece in the classroom is so so important."

Johnson may not win a Grammy, but he said his effort is appreciated by his students and colleagues alike.

"It's hard walking into that classroom and seeing empty desks," Johnson said. "As a teacher I thrive on seeing the 'ah-ha' moments when they get something. When you see their face and it just lights up. But it doesn't mean we can't still have those because we are going to have some web chats, online learning. It's going to be OK. We are going to get through his together and we'll see each other down the road."
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