A teacher’s basement-recorded rap to his students has gone viral, reminding listeners of every age that education is about more than studying and scores.

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Between budget battles and math wars, it’s easy to forget that education is also about discovery and joy.

Dwayne Reed, a first-year teacher at Jane Stenson Elementary in Skokie, Il., reminded the world of that earlier this month when he created a music video to welcome his fourth-graders to the new school year, and saw it immediately go viral:

Education Lab grabbed a few minutes with Reed, 25, to talk about what prompted him to make “Welcome to the Fourth Grade.” He finishes his student-teaching gig in December. After that, he’ll be a free agent looking for work. Reed says he loves rainy, foggy weather. Hello, Seattle?

Q: Why did you make the video, and how long did it take?

A: “I like music — just about every human being likes music — and what better way to start the school year than something that gets you moving and grooving? I never anticipated it going viral. This is the first music video I ever made. It was just a way to connect with my students. It took about an hour to write the lyrics, over the course of a couple of days — 20 minutes here and there — and I recorded in my friend’s basement. Then with video shooting and editing, the whole thing took about 10 or 11 hours. We posted it at 1 a.m. and then, well, it was a crazy week.

Q: You’re probably aware that there are very few African-American males in teaching. Was that a factor in your choosing this profession?

A: “First of all, kids are just hilarious. So why not get paid to laugh all day? More seriously, as a child I always felt singled out by white women teachers. I wasn’t bad or disruptive, for the most part. But for some reason I always felt there was a target on me. Now I get it. Look at the suspension rates — black kids are suspended at three or four times the rate of white kids, for the same offenses. But considering the image of black males that’s cast in the media, I understand. Why wouldn’t a normal, white American woman see black males in her classroom as they are on TV?

Q: What was your favorite subject as a student?

A: English and social studies. I hated music. I thought it was a waste of my time.