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Teacher reimagines popular TV show song to hilariously welcome students back to school

Justin Chan
·3-min read

A Wisconsin teacher has gone viral for his amusing take on a popular TV song.

On Sept. 1, Paul Miller, an English teacher at Appleton East High School, shared a three-minute back-to-school video on YouTube. In it, Miller does his take on “I’ll Be There For You,” a song by the Rembrandts that was made popular by the show “Friends.”

“So no one told me school was gonna be this way,” Miller sings in an empty classroom, in reference to the pandemic and the (mostly) nationwide cancellation of in-person teaching. “I got my lessons ready but the students are MIA. I guess I’ll move it all to Canvas here. Even though we’re starting virtual, we can still have a great year. ‘Cause I’ll be here for you when you’re learning at home.”

(Canvas is an online learning platform that students and teachers have used in place of physical classrooms.)

“I’ll be here for you, and you’ll watch me on [Google] Chrome,” Miller continues. “I’ll be here for you until you’re here with me too. Despite our social distance, school will still be great.”

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The teacher then lists the reasons why online learning has its benefits.

“No need to wake up early, and it’s always pajama day,” he says. “I know you’d rather see your friends again, but it won’t be long before we’re face to face and until then …”

Miller jumps into the chorus before telling his students what they can look forward to.

“Soon you’ll be in the classroom no longer watching on Zoom,” he sings. “That’s when you’ll really start to shine and your talent will bloom. Every day, you will grow wiser with bleach wipes and sanitizer. I’m the greatest sterilizer and, no matter what, I’m here for you.”

Miller’s video has since received over 25,000 views on YouTube and a number of supportive comments.

“Teachers are angels on earth in human form,” one user wrote.

“You’ve got to be the most fun teacher ever!” another added.

In an interview with WMTV, Miller said he normally starts off every school year with a song. This year, however, he had to get a little more creative.

“Honestly, it was about a week ago that I had the idea,” he said. “I spent a day writing the song, a day recording the music, and then my wife and I came to school on Sunday afternoon when no one was here and we got all the video footage.”

The teacher said he’s been overwhelmed by the amount of positive responses he’s gotten.

“Really the attention we are getting this year is completely off the charts,” he said. “I have gotten messages from Arizona to India. Apparently, ‘Friends’ is a very popular [show] in the Spanish-speaking school of Mumbai.”

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