What does a teacher need to do in order to better reach their students? As educators across the country continue to scramble to answer this question and improve the learning experience of schoolchildren, one Florida-based literacy company has offered a suggestion: Look to Lil' Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
In their first annual Teacher of the Year Awards, The Better Education Place honored Weezy and the self-professed female counterpart for their capacity as teachers. The source of this honor lies in their "swagger."
Yes, swagger. That unfortunate word that just won't seem to leave despite my constant requests to God for a synonym. On the importance of "swagger" in educating the youth, BEP's CEO, Melvin El, explained: "Apparently students are drawn in by the 'swagger.' If you are a teacher today and you don't have any swagger you are going to struggle to get your students attention. It turns out a teacher can learn a lot from Lil' Wayne and Nicki Minaj."
As much as I adore Nicki Minaj, I'm not sure I want 45-year-old geometry teacher Mrs. Newsome dressing up like Jem from the block a la Nicki for the sake of making polygons appear more playful.
And while she's constantly pushing the importance of education to her Barbz and Ken Dolls (that's what she addresses her female and male fans, outsiders), I seriously doubt Nicki Minaj would be thrilled with the idea of being fancied as anything but an entertainer at present moment.
The mission of El's organization is to boost literacy through new types of learning experiences that can incorporate music, film, games, and theater. BEP believes that hip-hop has a unique ability to inspire children and make education fun; hence the shout out to Young Money's finest and their own line of rap-themed educational products found on the group's website.
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Michael Arceneaux is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
All statements and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors, and not of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or NBC News.