When the Get Schooled foundation asked for nominations for outstanding math teachers in its Ring the Bell Contest, one name stood out among the other: resident superstar teacher Lamar Queen! Below is the essay that was submitted on his behalf:
In 2007 a new Algebra teacher arrived at our urban middle school in South Central Los Angeles. Lamar Queen was the kind of teacher that you know off-bat will have a bright future.
His calm demeanor, impeccable dress, and rapport with students was instantaneous. We knew he would be destined for greatness.
Well, it didn't quite work out that way. His students got over his youth and looks and soon started complaining about class being boring. Mr. Queen was mortified. He became stressed.
He showed up at our school's New Teacher support meetings and admitted he couldn't sleep well at night trying to figure out a way to make class more engaging. And that's when the magic began.
Mr. Queen began writing his lessons in the form of math raps. He wanted these raps to pass the stiff criteria our students use to deem what is "cool" or "not cool." His first rap, Slope Intercept Form, was a huge hit with students due to its original lyrics and beats. Soon, a youtube video followed, and Mr. Queen became a certified superstar in the 'hood. He has developed a whole range of entertaining and educational raps for students of regular and higher math, and has turned on students to a subject they once feared.
As an African-American male, in a community desperate for role models, Mr. Queen has lived up to the promise we saw in him. We are lucky to have him in our school. His video is at
If Mr. Q.U.E. wins the contest, he gets a free round-trip ticket to New York City to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010! Stay tuned for details, as we are awaiting word about the winners. Feel free to contact Lamar at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook at Mr. Q.U.E.'s fan page. His music can be found at musicnotesonline.com
photo from lawattstimes.com