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When teacher Terry Austen woke up this past Thursday little did he know that he would go to bed an internet star. Austen teaches high school math at St. Patrick Catholic School in Portland. In a YouTube video that has now gone viral, Austen explains that one of his students, “came into class and complained that geometry is boring. And I asked would it help if I break danced? And she said, ‘yeah, it would.’” Austen says in the video that the the student, who is an aspiring chef, even offered to bake him an apple pie if he did it. The YouTube video appropriately is titled, “What Would You Do for a Caramel Apple Pie?”
So, at the end of class, breakdancing is exactly what Austen did. Gathering in the hallway outside his classroom with his students, Austen performed a brief breakdance on the slick hallway floor. The student, YouTuber, littlerobotgirl, videotaped it and posted it online, where it has racked up more than 600,000 views in the past two days. The response has been largely positive with one viewer, BananaGaming, commenting, “it's teachers like these that are legit cool, not because of the breakdance but because they can easily connect with their students somehow and build a relation with them. Them moves were sick tho.”
Mr. Austen as well as the student who posted the video, have been contacted by news outlets and websites not only here in the US but also internationally wanting to broadcast the video. According to St. Patrick principal, Randy Hodge, “St. Patrick teachers go above and beyond to keep students excited about learning.” On an update on the YouTube video, littlerobotgirl, updated viewers that, “an update of [Mr. Austen] with his apple pie (topped with sea salt caramel- also homemade- and vanilla ice cream) will be given to satisfy everyone's growing curiosity!” According to Austen, the rest of the class will get to share in the spoils of his labors. Apparently, geometry isn’t so boring anymore.
Disclosure: When writer Jordan D. Smith isn't contributing for The Portland Beacon, he is a high school teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School.