Titus O’Neil partners with Get Your Teach On to engage 100,000 educators worldwide

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TAMPA, Fla. – WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil (Thaddeus Bullard) will be joined by Tampa Bay’s leaders and sports franchises to kick off the international Rock Your School event worldwide on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

The celebration, hosted by Get Your Teach On, will kick off at 8:05 a.m. ET at Thaddeus M Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa. The educational movement is meant to energize the K-12 teaching community, inspiring them to create an outside-the-box educational experience to engage their students and bring learning to life in their classrooms on that day.

O’Neil will be joined by representatives from the Tampa Mayor’s office, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Fire Department, Tampa Police Department, Tampa Fire and representatives from all of the local sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, University of South Florida and Tampa Tarpons.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, actor Mario Lopez and the Ninja Kidz will kick off Rock Your School at Dahlia Heights Elementary School. O’Neil and Lopez are leading the charge to actively engage celebrities and athletes to help rock schools in their communities around the world.

“We want to use this week to spark more innovative thought around education, community engagement and school pride, knowing that those in the teaching profession are often undervalued and underpaid,” O’Neil said. “We want to motivate collaboration with other educators, understanding that no one is alone in this battle.”

Rock Your School comes at a time when schools are losing more teachers and fewer people want to become teachers. A Penn State study showed that the number of people training to become teachers has fallen from a pinnacle of 700,000 in 2009 to just over 400,000 in 2020, according to Chalkbeat.

That means more school districts are having to hire underqualified teachers. An analysis by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) found that 1 in 10 teacher positions are either vacant or filled by someone uncertified for the subject they are teaching.

“We want to keep good teachers in teaching,” O’Neil said, “and for them to feel inspired to continue to put positive people out into this world.”

Get Your Teach On selected the Thaddeus M Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School as a kickoff site because of its innovative programming and transformational work, said Wade King, co-founder of Get Your Teach On.

“Choosing to partner with the Thaddeus M Bullard Academy at Sligh Middle Magnet School was easy because we have worked with Titus O’Neil over the last four years at our teaching and professional development conferences, and we see firsthand that he is a champion of education in our community,” King said. “We want to support schools and programs like Sligh.”

Sligh will open up Rock Your School with a school-wide House Party. The school population is broken up into houses that spell out PRIDE (Positivity, Respect, Innovation, Determination, Excellence). The Houses gather for competitions to determine a House Champion each semester. Rock Your School activities will include educational games, an assembly and specialized lessons catered for that day in conjunction with community leaders in attendance.

Since Rock Your School’s inception in 2018, tens of thousands of educators from thousands of schools have participated in Get Your Teach On’s Rock Your School initiative. GYTO received entries from schools in all 50 states, plus entries from around the world including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Portugal and more. In the past, artists such as Paul Stanley and Nick Lachey supported Rock Your School, as well as world-renowned science teacher Steve Spangler (from “Ellen”). 98 Degrees also filmed a video to help spread the word.

To register your school for Rock Your School, sign up here.

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