Chicago educator Dwayne Reed’s music video “Welcome to Kindergarten” is going viral—and proving once again that teachers are absolutely amazing. In the now viral Instagram video, Reed wears a bow tie, plays the guitar, and sings his kindergarten song in an empty classroom.
He sweet voice croons, "Welcome to kindergarten, where we can learn and play. Get ready for all of the fun we'll have today.” After finishing with the chorus—"I’ll try my best and work hard. Be kind in every way. We’re ready for all of the fun we’ll have today”—Reed launches into a rap about all the cool things that happen in kindergarten.
"A whole lot of fun, a whole lot of games, we'll learn how to write our first and last name. Reading sight words like 'I am good' and sharing our supplies like every friend should."
Reed’s video shows the inside of a typical kindergarten classroom, filled with colorful pictures, a whiteboard, and plenty of books. The video features the books “KINDergarten” by Vera Ahiyya and “The King of Kindergarten” by Derrick Barnes (who has also written "The Queen of Kindergarten"). Reed also demonstrates some of the things kids will learn and do in kindergarten, such tying their shoes and playing at recess.
Reed, who is dean of students at a Chicago elementary school and a former fourth and fifth grade teacher, told TODAY that the music video is an honor to “angel” kindergarten teachers.
"I can't say it enough: Kindergarten teachers [are] tremendous," Reed told TODAY. "I am not doing anything they haven’t done forever — I just put it in front of a camera with music."
Nonetheless, Reed's kindergarten song is sure to calm some first-day jitters for kids and parents alike. "The kindergarten (year) can be really scary," Reed, who has a 5-year-old son, acknowledged. "I see it—kids are crying and so are parents."
Among Reed’s tips to calm those back-to-school jitters? Reading books about school together, making the first day special, and acknowledging our emotions and fears.
"It's OK to cry," Reed told TODAY. He also recommends that parents talk to their kids about any worries or fears they might be having.
This isn’t Reed’s first brush with viral music video fame. He’s also known for his “Welcome to 4th Grade” music video, which he recorded in 2016 during his first year teaching.
Not surprisingly, Reed’s “Welcome to Kindergarten” music video has been applauded by parents and teachers alike. It is also available on Spotify if you want to listen to it on repeat with your students or children.
Regardless of whether you have a child starting kindergarten, leaving for college, or something in between, Reed’s sweet and catchy music video will capture your heart. My own kids are in 7th and 10th grade this year, and I still found myself smiling with a tear in my eye remembering all those emotions of the first days of kindergarten. Even if you have a baby or toddler and kindergarten isn’t on the horizon, Reed’s fun song, colorful classroom, and warm personality can get children excited about starting a new day care or preschool as well.
Reed’s music video makes it nearly impossible to not get excited about the school year ahead. As he sings in his "Welcome to Kindergarten" music video, “With you the future is bright.”