LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jefferson County Public Schools preschool teacher is thinking outside the box. She's rapping her lesson plan, and it's paying off.
It's a typical day inside Bridgette Johnson's classroom at DuValle Education Center. Johnson, however, doesn't look or sound like the other teachers.
"I may dress up like Mickey Mouse. I may come in like Michael Jackson. I might come in like Dr. Seuss," Johnson said. "They [students] don't know, but this is my official DJ, BJ, the rapping school teacher."
The rapping preschool teacher is dropping beats in her lesson plan to get her 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds interested in learning.
"Whoops! There it is. Whoops! There it is," London Terry said.
"With the age group and the kind of kids we have in this generation, we have to pump it up a little bit," said Johnson, who has seen her use of rhythm and rhyme with visual props turn around her students' skill set. "Some of the ones that have had some problems are functioning now, high functioning, and they are doing really well."
The 20-year veteran started at JCPS as a substitute. At 45, she went back to school and received an associates and bachelor's degree. She's written three educational books to go along with her CDs and coloring books.
"We have so much negative things going on in the city that it's something positive going on that people don't know about. I think these kids have a lot of talents. When I bring a microphone over here and those drums, and they beat them, they sing. They have a lot of talents inside of them, and I think sometimes we try to be so academic that we miss the talent part of it," Johnson said.
Her approach is paying off.
"There's never a wasted minute. It's high engagement, high involvement, and so she gets the highest results in the building right now, and she has for the last few years," said Brian Clark, the principal at DuValle Education Center.
Johnson is working on her fourth book and her master's degree. However, her colleagues say her high energy, character and belief in her students speak for themselves.
"Probably the best thing about Mrs. Johnson is she wants the kids to have a love for learning," Clark said. "She wants them to leave here and want them to do well in school and love school."
Johnson's books are available on Amazon:
- Hey! Hey! I Know My Five Senses, coloring book
- Use Your Manners, coloring book
- That's the Sound of the Kids Working on the Alphabet, coloring book
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