Cradock Middle educators participate in the #DontRushChallenge


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Educators at Cradock Middle School have a message for students during the coronavirus pandemic: Don’t rush.

Cradock Middle School Principal Dr. Damon Cary and Assistant Principal Janeen Perry-Campbell joined several teachers in filming their own version of the #DontRushChallenge for their Portsmouth students.

The #DontRushChallenge is a viral video theme circulating TikTok and Facebook.

Cradock Middle School social studies teacher Antonio Simon explained the challenge.

In their video, Cradock Middle School educators appear on screen sitting in their homes in casual wear, but then they realize they still have a job to do despite the pandemic. The educators hold up a note to the camera, with an inspirational message to students, and when the note is removed from the screen the educators have transformed their appearances to look the way their students would see them dressed in the classroom.

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“You’re sitting in the house looking all crazy, but you realize, ‘I still have a job to do,'” Simon said.

Simon said the #DontRushChallenge was created to inspire and entertain Cradock Middle School students, and to allow them to see their teacher’s faces after several weeks of being apart due to school closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being home, Simon said Portsmouth teachers are still working hard — hosting Zoom meetings with parents and students, assigning school work, and answering questions.

Jalisa Logan, a technology resource teacher at the school, said the #DontRushChallenge was the final celebration of Cradock Middle School’s Virtual Spirit Week. The drive behind virtual spirit week is to allow students to continue building relationships with their teachers despite their separation during the coronavirus.

The #DontRushChallenge video was meant to be fun, while still allowing teachers to send a message to their students.

Simon also has a personal message to students: Stay informed.

“You can still be educated if you stay informed,” he said.

Simon said that he teaches students about civics and economics. Just before Cradock Middle School closed, Simon was teaching his students about supply and demand — an economic lesson that’s clearly displayed during the coronavirus pandemic when the supplies of items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies are low compared to the high demand from communities.

“Watch what’s going on with local, state, and federal governments,” Simon said. “Everything I teach is going on right now.”

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