'Teach Me How To Study' video sends West Seattle educators viral

Feb 1, 2011


Some talented staff at West Seattle's Denny International Middle School have a hit, of sorts, on their hands.  Students are giving them high marks for their work in a video that's getting some viral tread: some 7,500 hits this past month.


"Teach Me How To Study," is a rap video parody of the popular "Teach Me How to Dougie" by the group Cali Swag District.


Denny's version is the brainchild of math and science instructor Gary Lai and assistant principal, Chanda Oatis. They told KING-TV's Brad Goode the intent is to offer kids basic study skill support through creative lyrics, while having some fun:



"They hear the song and they want to recite the lyrics, and to do what they say, like a taking a break a lunchtime to study, if that works for them,” Lai says.


Lai and other staff are lead performers in the video, shot over two days during the December holiday break. Editor Will Braden put it all together.


Borrowing an idea, and getting the clicks


Denny International isn't the first school to make a parody with the same name.  A Google search of "Teach Me How To Study" turns up a few of them, many created in the past few months. 


One, produced by staff at California's Conejo Valley School District, posted last April to YouTube, and has nearly four times the hits.


Hitting home with words


Lai and Oatis tell Goode their own version, with lyrics specific to Denny's West Seattle neighborhood of Westwood, make it personal to their students, including:



"I come from Denny with that Westwood shuffle...," or, "We brought it to Westwood, and got the whole school askin'"...


Oatis says she and her colleagues felt inspired to make the video before students took the state assessments, using humor and information as a motivator. They say test scores at the school have improved since production of an annual motivational YouTube video began in 2009.