Once teachers had authority, dignity and gravitas. Now, they have inflatable guitars and sumo suits, and race wheeled chairs down school corridors.
Here the TES offers a small selection of the leaving videos of 2016 – those carefully edited masterpieces which celebrate the creative genius, and horrendous dancing, of teachers.
All of the videos below have more than 10,000 views and they embrace the visual clichés of dancing on desks, air guitar and male twerking.
These films show teachers dressed up as frogs playing leapfrog, swaying across the gym on a rope to the tune of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball and opening the doors into the school corridor in unison. They make teaching look like fun, and as well as being hilarious, heart-warming and full of dressing up, they show how schools are brimming with respect, inclusiveness, laughter, silly jokes and love.
Every single video includes heartfelt wishes of good luck to Year 11.
One stunned Year 11 student simply commented: “Omg.”
1. Bishop Gore School, Swansea. 15,936 views
The Swansea comprensive gets off to a roaring start with staff lip-synching to hits from Rihanna, Adele and Drake before launching into a whole-school routine to the 1978 Queen classic Don’t Stop Me Now. The film includes a science lab explosion and classic teacher dancing, and it ends with a silent walk from an eerie, empty exam hall.
2. Coombeshead Academy, Newton Abbot, Devon. 12,219 views
Coombeshead Academy does away with choosing a single summer song and makes its way through a medley of favourites. Watch out for a solo Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) at 1min 56sec and the PE staff coming in like a wrecking ball at 4min 37sec. And several teachers fulfil their dream of jumping into the pool fully clothed.
3 . Richmond School, North Yorkshire. 11,260 views
This video from Richmond School taps into the format of the moment with teachers taking part in carpool karaoke. It is perhaps the most surreal video of our chosen five – with Sherlock Holmes lipsyncing along to Sia’s Cheap Thrills, staff dancing in welding masks and leapfrogging frogs. As one commentor puts it: “Well … I can’t look at these people in the same way again."
4. Erith School, South-East London. 10,502 views
The senior leadership team at Erith School open this video with the conceit of asking the kids to do something “epic”. Cue Fifth Harmony’s 2015 hit Worth It and staff telling kids they’re “worth it”. Highlights include people spelling out Erith with their bodies, dancing in the headteachers’ office and a row of students doing the dab. Is it epic? Of course! And it has out-takes.
5. Olchfa School, Swansea. 10,260 views
Swansea has not just one, but two schools making massively popular videos this year. Olchfa School picks Justin Timberlake’s feelgood hit Can’t Stop the Feeling – and rapidly ticks off all the squares on leavers’ video bingo: using a desk fan to blow back your hair, a magic trick with a Bunsen burner flame, singing into a white board eraser and lots of racing wheeled chairs down the corridors. Pob lwc! [That's Welsh for "good luck!"]
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