Becoming the Black Mr. Rogers – Interview with Mr. Dwayne Reed – Ep. 031

Meet the Black Mr. Rogers!

Mr. Dwayne Reed, a first year teacher on the West Side of Chicago, has already made a profound impact on so many students and teachers around the world. And he does so by bringing the positivity, freedom, and cool vibes of being a kid into every lesson in the classroom!  Sounds like Mr. Rogers to me! On this episode of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast, Mr. Reed will give you all of the tips and strategies to generate excitement and build great relationships with your students.

Mr. Reed is a first-year teacher but it feels like he has been doing this for so much longer. Last year, during his pre-service as a student teacher, Mr. Reed went viral with the huge classroom banger, “Welcome to the 4th Grade.” The song started as a simple way to connect with his students, but when Mr. Reed woke up the morning after releasing it, he was all over the internet! But don’t think you have to be a musical superstar like Mr. Reed to create these type of connections in your classroom. On this episode, he explains how all teachers have the potential to create their own vibe and set their own tone with the energy they bring into the classroom.

When teachers set a tone of joy and exuberance, kids respond with anticipation and excitement for every school day. Mr. Reed gave his students the experience of being on the screen rather than looking at the screen. Mr. Reed’s students aren’t just along for the ride; instead, the kids and Mr. Reed are all on the ride together. Mr. Reed believes in being able to “put yo’ people on,” which means to let them experience what you’re experiencing, to let them have these moments of unfettered, magical learning.

On this note, Mr. Reed has used his fame and influence to constantly give back to the communities he serves. Whether it is securing donations of books from around the world, using his social networks to ask for Christmas presents for his students (they received five presents EACH from an Amazon wish list), or even working with an airline company to get kids in private planes for flying lessons (don’t tell his kids yet), Mr. Reed will exhaust every avenue to help his kids until the day he dies!

And this is just one reason why he is such an inspiration! On this episode, Mr. Reed tells us how to dream big and establish the best relationships with our students. He goes into how he has become such an influencer and powerful voice in only his first year of teaching and how to be a fearless in your advocacy for your students. Learn all about the incredible opportunities that are available to us by listening to one of the most inspiring episodes of the Punk Rock Preschool Podcast right here.

Resources:

Show Notes

  • 02:45 – What Inspired You to Be a Teacher
  • 06:53 – How Mr. Reed Built the Culture in his Classroom
  • 11:30 – Culture around Music
  • 16:20 – Using “Fame” to Do Good
  • 22:56 – Advice to Teachers to Bring Big Dreams into the Classroom
  • 27:13 – Where You Can Find Mr. Reed

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