Folks, I’ve been seeing something pop up on my Pinterest feed and on my Facebook page and I’ve got to tell you, I’m a little put off. I am seeing countless variations of ‘Hit the Quan’ and ‘Nae Nae’ acronym posters. Have you seen them? I’ll not post them here, truthfully, because I don’t want to directly call folks out…but…indirectly…I’m calling you out.
What is the purpose of these posters?
Are we trying to be ‘relevant’?
Surely these posters are not an attempt to be deeply educationally sound.
Is it just a gimmicky way to teach students a concept?
I grew up in an all white school. We never did the Dougie, or the Cabbage Patch. When MC Hammer wore his pants big, we all knew that was a no no.
I dare say that in all white schools across the country today…not a single teacher is looking at a classroom of all white children and telling them to ‘Hit the Quan’ so that they can learn a difficult concept.
So, why now? Why are we bringing this music into our classrooms?
The Quan is a dance that is made to imitate the dance moves of rappers. Is that what we want our kids doing in an academic setting? Dancing like what they see in the rap videos?
The Nae-nae is a dance that came from the character Sha-nae-nae in the 90’s sitcom Martin.
Have you gone back and rewatched any clips of him pretending to be Sha-nae-nae?
So that you KNOW what you’re having the kids truly imitate?
If that’s all you’ve got to give your kids…..If that’s the only way that you know to reach them is through popular dance crazes and stereotypical comedy, then, you’re missing the point.
I’m all for fun. I made up a phonics review song to the tune of Gangnam Style a few years ago. Neither one of us were under any illusions that we were connecting anything but fun and phonics. I wasn’t trying to reach anyone beyond the shallowness of reviewing the concept with a faddish song.
So, you may say…well, Tamara…I did that poster too…or we danced to that song in our class…and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. What is the difference between what you did and our poster. To that I say…what ARE you doing that’s TRULY culturally relevan t. I didn’t have Asian kids I was trying to relate to. I wasn’t using that song so that other kids in my class could relate to Asian people…or so that we could appreciate music from lots of different cultures. We can’t work with populations of children distinctly different from our own, Hit the Quan, hand out an MLK worksheet and do a powerpoint and think that we are giving our kids anything.
We need to stop that!
I just messaged a few blogger friends on this topic. All of them were black. We all said the exact same thing. We don’t do this with our own students. I can be relevant, funny, memorable and engaging without reaching for the lowest common denominator.
Next thing you know, there will be folks out there with acronym posters about dabbing.
Just so you know…dabbing is a dance move, but it’s derived from the coughing spell that folks get after taking a hit on strong marijuana. Some of the movement is also related to being really high.
So, if someone suggests that you should try out a ‘DAB’ poster…please…don’t.