Jul 29, 2014
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Blair High's Rapping Teacher Hits National Spotlight

A math teacher in Silver Spring by day, a rapper extolling the virtues of mathematics by night, Jacob Scott's story has traveled across the country.

The story of a high school math teacher in Silver Spring who makes rap videos to help students learn complicated algebra principles, using the alter ego "2 Pi," has spread far past Montgomery County's borders and well into international waters. 

Jacob Scott, who teaches at Montgomery Blair High, gained acclaim for his work with students who aren't native English speakers in 2011, winning the NAACP Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year Award and being featured in local media and even on billboards, according to Silver Chips, Blair's student newspaper. 

But when The Washington Post took notice of his rap videos on YouTube last November, the inspiring and unconventional teacher's work went worldwide, including features on national media like NPR and Radar, and even a write-up from Yahoo News UK.

Scott told Patch that the media attention is encouraging for his students.

"There has been so much positive coverage and I really appreciate it because it supports the narrative that I have given my students," Scott wrote in an email. "Every year, in September, I begin preaching to the students about how their lives can be different if they work hard and make sacrifices."

Scott says more students are moving up from remedial math classes, some to honors and more to courses on their level. Scott's summer math program has grown from just two students to 116 last year, he said. 

"I am so proud of their accomplishments," Scott wrote. 

Here's a list of some of the news organizations that have featured Scott's teaching strategy:

2 Pi: Rhymes and Radii (NPR)

Rap teaching gains popularity at Montgomery Blair (The Gazette)

Math Rap Goes Viral (NBC4)

Rapping math teacher uses rhyme to make sense of cosine (Mother Nature Network)

Math rap engages students (Silver Chips)

Move Over Kanye! Teacher Raps Algebra Equations in His Classroom (Radar Online)

They call him MCSquared: Meet the math teacher who raps to his students (Yahoo News UK)

Teacher's Rapping Alter Ego Brings Rhyme and Reason to the Classroom (EdTech magazine)

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