By Katy Gill
This inspirational teacher has started the ‘what would you do for that grade’ challenge with her school class.
Motivational educator Kendrah Underwood involved all her forensic science students at Butler College Prep, Chicago, Illinois, USA, to rap what lengths they’d go to succeed in school.
After the 37-year-old asks the 31 kids, one after the other reels off their sacrifices including the obvious working hard and staying after school.
With some surprise and hilarious inclusions like eating chicken and getting jiggy for that grade, Kendrah and her class drop some serious moves before the video ends.
Kendrah, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, said: “I’m constantly looking for ways to make my classroom inviting and conducive for learning.
“When students are bored it’s impossible for them to learn or to be vested in content.
“I had watched the bodakyellowchallenge on Facebook and decided to put a positive spin on it and let the students have some fun with it.
“We have done things like the Mannequin Challenge before and it helps the students feel like superstars and makes them lit for education.
“Parents have told me how much they love the idea and they wish more teachers would engage their children in the same way.”
For the mum-of-one, voted the best teacher in her school last year, making education exciting is much more important than just passing arbitrary grades.
Kendrah said: “The true definition of success for the students at Butler College Prep is to go to college.
“If they succeed, not only can they change the trajectory of their lives but become leaders in their community.
“The positive impact they can have where they live will change future generations.
“I believe success is not measured by the amount of money you earn, but the impact you have on the lives of others.
“I wanted to change the narrative of what the world hears about black students when it comes to education and positivity.
“The video wasn’t scripted or controlled by myself so what the pupils said is an accurate depiction of their personalities.”
Despite going the extra mile for her pupils every day – including designing her own lab coat and decorating her classroom to encourage learning – Kendrah never intended to go into education.
The forensic science teacher said: “My mother taught so I knew first hand it was grueling work that was underappreciated and underpaid.
“It wasn’t until I did missionary work in Liberia that it became clear teaching is what I am naturally best at.
“So, I left my job at CNN and joined a school in Atlanta for two years.
“I had heard about a Chicago education network called Noble and had several interviews.
“As soon as I interviewed for Butler I knew it was the perfect place for me.
“The principal, Chris Goins, creates an environment where students and teachers win daily.”