When my son was an eighth-grader in a NY suburban school district, we almost impoded as a family. He just didn’t get the infamous Math A or Math B, was in serious danger of failing math (or worse, of giving up entirely), and our home was littered with math guides and the remains of various tutors.
He took after his parents, who weren’t the best math students either. My only memory of math class in middle school and high school, in fact, is that of being bored nearly to tears by an endless freak show of male teachers who hated their jobs.
Both my son and I could have used someone like D.J. Duey to teach us math. Now a media celebrity, Duey was a long-term substitute teacher in Michigan when he realized that his math students just weren’t getting it. A long-time lover of rap, Duey began to write his own raps about math, consulting with other teachers to determine the best way to combine rap, music, video and math and science learning into something a bit easier to digest than a textbook full of numbers.
Since releasing his first rap, Duey has released an album, “Class Dis-Missed,” which includes 17 songs that translate, in a fun way, some of the most difficult subjects to teach and understand. The reaction to Duey, from the teaching community, students and the media, has been overwhelmingly positive and he’s branched out into making his own music videos, many of which are now available for viewing on YouTube. Check out his fractions video here, one of my personal favorites, which has been viewed more than 3,900 times.
You can order his album on his own website.