KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – A local math teacher is uplifting his students with a parody from “Hamilton” that is full of laughs and hope for a return to in-person learning.
Bryan Kerns teaches Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and Fire Science at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
On Sunday, Kerns posted a video with his parody of “You’ll Be Back” by Jonathan Groff to remind his students to keep their heads up and not pull their hair out while online instruction continues.
Kerns told News Channel 11 that he got the idea for the song after watching “Hamilton” with his wife and loving the song.
“Three weeks ago, I told my wife, ‘I think I’m gonna write some words to You’ll Be Back talking about how we’ll be back to school eventually,'” Kerns said.
It took him about two hours to write on Friday afternoon, but the lyrics have made his students and their parents laugh.
Kerns said some of his students have said they want to make the video go viral.
“I just hope they enjoy it,” Kerns said. “Don’t expect a live performance of that at school. I’ll forget the words.”
Kerns favorite line from the song is inspired by the fact that he says most of his students started the school year by attending Google Meetings from their beds.
“We’ll be back, like before
We’ll log off and open up the doors
We will love
We will praise
When we’ll teach you til retirement day
No more class from your bed
So don’t throw away those pants you had”
Kerns holds a daily Google Meeting with his students not only for the purpose of teaching but also to check on their wellbeing.
“Kind of my main objective is to help these young folks find their way in our world, and especially when something like this happens, try to be a rock for them,” Kerns said.
Kerns hopes the video provides laughs and stress relief for both students and parents who have had to balance work and having their kids at home during the pandemic.
His message to his students is to go outside while they have the chance and to do their part during the pandemic to cherish every moment.
In his 15 years at DBHS, Kerns said he has only brought his guitar in once to perform Christmas carols.
Since then, Kerns has continued to post what he calls “goofy videos” with his guitar to his YouTube channel to help his students study.