MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis educator’s non-traditional teaching style garnered 2.8 million TikTok views in less than a week.
Stephanie Claybourne, better known as Senorita Clay by her students at Sheffield High School, posted a video that shows the class actively learning Spanish with a little help from a big Memphis name.
Claybourne decided to incorporate pop culture in her teaching strategy through the “F.N.F” beat made popular by Memphis rapper GloRilla.
“It could be a challenge to learn a new language; however, the style that I use, it helps my students want to do more,” Claybourne said.
Her students also agreed that using popular music keeps them interested and engaged.
“It teaches us how to learn Spanish with songs we already know. So, you add music with it and go with the flow,” said student Deanna Williams.
The video also got nearly 70,000 plays on Instagram, showing Claybourne teaching the subject matter to a mixed class of all grade levels. Thursday’s lesson was all about pronouns and learning how to answer basic questions in Spanish.
“Ellas is ‘she’ in Spanish. Ellas es una maestra bien excellente’. So basically meaning, ‘she is an amazing teacher,’ talking about Ms. Claybourne,” said student Marly Villatoro.
Senorita Clay has since moved on to a new Glorilla-inspired lesson, using the track from the rapper’s song “Tomorrow.”
Clay said the days of old have passed, and the modern classroom requires student input along with influences from their culture.
“Teaching styles have changed over the years,” said Claybourne. “Gone are the days where we’re just sitting down waiting on the teacher to give us the lesson without their interaction. The interaction is what helps us thrive, which also helps the students to retain the content.”
Claybourne studied education and Spanish at the University of Memphis. She’s been teaching Spanish for eight years and incorporating hip hop and other cultural themes for six years.
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