You gotta do homework, work, work, work work!
In an 8-minute back-to-school mashup mix, Michigan math teacher Kathryn Wippel “made syllabus week fun again” by changing up the lyrics to pop songs like Fifth Harmony’s “Work” to reflect classroom policies.
Her performance, which is being called a “first-day fail” and “cringeworthy” by Internet users, was actually meant to be “cheesy and awkward,” according to the inventive high school teacher.
“There are haters out there, but it was either me stand up there and talk like the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or this!” Wippel, 32, tells PEOPLE. “Some of the students looked unenthused, sure, but it was just a way to loosen up on the first day.”
Wippel leads five classes a day in pre-calculus, algebra 2 and geometry at Haslett High School in Haslett, Michigan. The dedicated teacher says she performed her tune (which took 10 hours to put write and memorize) for each class.
“These kids have to hear teachers talk about syllabuses for six hours in a row,” she explains. “I realized it would be more fun in a song!”
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She got the idea to do a syllabus song after serving as maid of honor at two weddings during which she sang her toasts to the bride and groom.
“I’m not doing this because I think I’m going to the next Voice winner!” Wippel, who has never taken a singing lesson, says with a laugh. “I just wanted to bring a smile to my students’ faces.”
Her favorite line?
“How can you learn if you don’t do the work! And please be honest… Please next time, think before you cheat!” – to the tune of Carrie Underwood’s 2005 mega-hit, “Before He Cheats.”