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Educator Monique McKnight is preparing for her 28th school year with Racine Unified School District. To add a little pep to her student’s steps, for the 2022-23 school year, she’s taken to TikTok to get them hyped. Her own take on Lizzo’s hit song, “About Damn Time” is a catchy tune to fit the start of the school year called “It’s Almost That Time.”

The Back to School remix is Mcknight’s rendition that features lyrics talking about what teachers do to get ready for the school year like lesson planning and setting up their classrooms. She briefly speaks in the video that COVID has been stressful, but the year upon students has the potential to best year yet.

At this time, the video on TikTok has 500 likes and is nearing 150 shares. The video can be watched by viewing the video below or on the TikTok app.

“The greatest reward is that all these students reach out,” said the educator. “28 years worth of people I’ve impacted, positively.”

@moniquemcknight “It’s Almost That Time” Back to School Remix! Wishing everyone an amazing school year! #teachersoftiktok #backtoschool #remix #foryou ♬ About Damn Time – Lizzo

Educator has lifelong ties

The educator, who has a feeling that this year will be great, per the video, is not new to RUSD or Racine. She was born and raised in the city and attended Shultee Elementary School, Gilmore Middle School and Case High School. In the 2nd grade, she attended Knapp Elementary School. Now, she’s back teaching at Knapp in the 2nd grade.

“28 years in the district,” said McKnight of her time within RUSD. “21 years of teaching, and 3rd year at Knapp.” Before she earned her degree at Alverno College, 3400 S. 43rd St. in Milwaukee, Wisc., she was an assistant for the district. For 18 years, prior to educating 2nd graders at Knapp, she was a teacher at Giese Elementary School, 5120 Byrd Ave. The closure of Giese which took place in 2022, forced her to change schools.

“It was a special place,” said McKnight.

Music in the classroom

Nonetheless, in all of her years as an educator, she’s found ways to make the years memorable. Oftentimes, it’s included singing and connecting with students.

In 2019, she remixed her first parody. Without thinking anything of it, McKnight shared, “I never set out to do this,” but it’s something that just followed suit year after year. The first video was her take on the hit song, “Old Town Road” and she changed it to “My Old Brick Home.” That video was shared on the last day of school. That time, the video was shared on her personal Facebook page for her friends to see.

In 2020, McKnight posted another video on the last day of school, this time, remixing the song “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion, which was a hit at the time. In the video, instead of the lyrics being “I’m a savage,” the lyrics were “I’m a teacher.” She switched platforms and opened up an account on Tiktok for the public to see her hits. View that video here.

McKnight went at it again in to connect with others. Through the pandemic and hybrid teaching, she remixed “Leave The Door Open” by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, the Silk Sonic duo. She also has done, “It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube. This video gained attraction from many and McKnight received over 17,000 views. Watch her remix on TikTok.

No matter what song it is, McKnight switches the lyrics to fit a theme related to being an educator.

Connecting with students

McKnight knows this is a fun way to connect with students. She told Racine County Eye that her students have seen the videos. They enjoy them. She said they either have their own accounts or that their parents have shown them.

When students come back to the classroom, the music continues. McKnight uses it as a way to teach and help students learn. “Anyone who’s been in my class knows we’re singing a song,” said McKnight She does this to help them remember what they’re being taught or to bring fun into the classroom.

Like this creative educator said, “It’s almost that time,” are you ready?

Back 2 School

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