I once worked with a very nice Vice Principal. He was a charming fellow and I enjoyed working with him. In his role as VP however, he was required to be pretty strict with the kids… and he did a great job of it. His role was to uphold the rules and policies of the school and he did it with a certain authoritarian gruffness and bulldog-like tenacity. He seemed to work on the idea that if you repeated the rules often enough then the kids would eventually do the right thing (or at least have no excuse for not knowing what the right thing was!)
Every morning, he would get on the school’s PA system and reiterate the rules to the kids. And he would always, always, always finish his PA address with the phrase “Have a great day and remember to treat everyone with equity, dignity and respect”. It was something of a catchphrase for him.
The thing about this approach to repeating the rules so often is that the kids start to just tune out. I asked them one morning in homeroom whether they actually listened to what the VP was saying and they said they didn’t, they just sort of tuned out and didn’t really listen at all. We discussed this for a couple of minutes and I jokingly said that perhaps if he did it as a rap instead they might take more notice. Well, I should know better than to joke about things like that… the next morning I decided to hold my Mac up in front of the PA speaker and record the announcement, which just happened to be a real beauty outlining the sort of clothing the kids were allowed to wear on their civvies (mufti) day the next day.
I dragging the audio file into GarageBand and had a play with it for a few hours. The resulting tune became somewhat of a classic around the school, with many teachers and kids asking for a copy of it. I never did release the actual digital file of it though, because I was a bit concerned with it getting out “in the wild”, so to speak. However, since that was over a year ago and in a completely different country, I figure I may as well put it out there now.
So, for your listening and dancing pleasure, here is Equity, Dignity, Respect.
Just click the Audio MP3 button above to listen, or grab your own copy from my Box.net widget. Enjoy.
Equity, Dignity, Respect. by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.