Amid the serious business of educating students, teachers and administrators in USD 503 do find time in their busy days for a few laughs and a little light-hearted fun when possible.
Still, Parsons Middle School teachers, for some reason, have a reputation for not being fun or doing fun things, which Parsons Middle School Sunshine Committee member Jamie Clark said couldn’t further from the truth.
How does one change such a false perception? By proving otherwise.
Clark said she was watching Tik Tok videos this summer and got the idea to try something new this year, called Finish the Lyric Friday.
The idea, Clark said, was for students to be able to see teachers having fun and stepping outside of their comfort zones, because teachers are asking students to step out of their comfort zones all of the time.
How it works is, Clark offers a few words of a song for teachers to finish the lyrics, or she sends a key word out to teachers a day or to before and they can say the lyrics from the first song that comes to mind. For example, the word “we”, could be something like “We are family. I’ve got all my sisters with me,’ or it could be something like, “We are the champions. We are the champions, of the world.”
Friday mornings, before students arrive, Clark wanders around the school with her cell phone and catches teachers in the hall, or in their classroom, and gives them the partial lyric or word. The teachers, administration, paras, or whomever she stops, are supposed to finish the song lyric. Clark then compiles all of the responses into one video and posts it on the school’s Facebook page.
“I just thought, we will do this. It’s a way to have fun and be silly and it doesn’t take a long time. Then we can put it out there and parents and students can see that we’re having fun, and I think it makes them a little more comfortable at school if they see their teachers having fun,” she said.
Some teachers and administration truly have fun with Finish the Lyric Friday, even if they are not going to be the next Ariana Grande or Bruno Mars. There are also some, who are a little shyer about putting their vocals out there for the Facebook world to hear and will just talk through the lyrics. In the future, Clark said she may try not sending out a word ahead of time, and seeing what the response is. She is also thinking of putting a spin on the concept, like having teachers do game day songs, 90’s songs, or songs with someone’s name in it.
“I’ve had some teachers email me and say, ‘I will volunteer for it every week,’ Clark said.
“It’s really funny when you do it, because you can tell by the songs they sing, which teachers are close to the same age, because the popular songs with those words in it are the ones that get repeated a lot,” she added. “There were a couple of exceptions. Like Mr. Hostetter is really young, and he sang a really old, old, old song.”
“It’s just fun,” Clark said. Looking for a smile? Check out the Parsons Kansas Middle School Facebook page each week for a new episode of Finish the Lyric Friday.