From the moment Adrian Perez’s fourth-graders walk into his classroom at McCabe Elementary school in Mendota, California, they were all officially welcomed to the “Good Life.”
Perez, a die-hard Kanye West fan, decorated his entire classroom in Kanye West themes, from song titles to the “Graduation” album cover bear, even down to the entire red color scheme inspired by Kanye’s Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” shoes he designed.
Perez said he was inspired to do the Kanye West-styled classroom after he watched the rapper’s “All Day” performance on the 2015 BRIT Awards.
“I teach my students to dive deeper in their thought process, use real-world connections, and to think outside the box. If I teach my students to do this, I should do it myself,” Perez, 33, told ABC News. “I thought, 'Let me break the pavement and be innovative, and pull off this Kanye West-themed classroom.’ I was clever with Kanye West lyrics and turned them into positive and motivating display titles for my classroom walls.”
And boy did he ever. Take a look at Perez’s explanations for his creatively Kanye-filled room.
Track title: “Good Life” Classroom theme: Welcome to the Good Life
“The first thing the students see when they walk into my class is a red door that reads ‘Welcome to the Good Life’ with the Graduation Bear ornament nailed on,” he explained. “From 8 a.m. to 2:35 p.m., these students are my kids. I want them to feel welcomed when they walk into my class.”
Track title: “Monster” Classroom theme: Math Monsters
“My math wall reads 'Math Monsters.’ Math can be a difficult subject for many students,” said Perez. “I never want my students to be discouraged and push them to approach learning with confidence. Monsters are fearless and so are my students when it comes to math.”
Track title: “Amazing” Classroom theme: I’m Amazing
“This wall is a display of students of the month,” he said. “Students of the month are chosen for exhibiting great character. These students are amazing! I want them to be recognized for their accomplishments.”
Track title: “New God Flow” Classroom theme: New Job Flow
“Each week students are assigned to various classroom jobs,” he explained. “I teach my students to be responsible, and giving them classroom jobs is one opportunity for them to practice responsibility.”
Track title: “Champion” Classroom theme: Story of a Champion
“This is my writing wall. My students learn like champions every day,” said Perez. “Throughout the school year my students will have several writing assignments. These writings are stories written by champions.”
Track title: “Touch the Sky” Classroom theme: Touch the Sky With ELA (English Language Arts)
“I want my students to reach their highest potential when it comes to ELA,” he said.
Track title: “Power” Classroom theme: Power Readers
“One of the most powerful subjects in education is reading,” said Perez. “I want all my students to be power readers.”
Track title: “All Day” Classroom theme: What Did I Learn All Day, All Day?
“This wall is my exit slip wall. Exit slips are used for checking student understanding,” he explained. “Each day I ask my class a specific question regarding something we learned about. The students then proceed to answering that question on a sticky note and post it on the exit slip wall.”
Track title: “On Sight” Classroom theme: On Sight
“This is my focus wall,” he said. “Focus Walls display relevant information to the focus on each quarter such as writing prompts, vocabulary, and display student work.”
Perez said the entire classroom took him several hours each day for an entire month to complete. And as for how much money is cost him to pull off the design?
“You cannot put a cost on my vision, so the classroom did not cost me a lot of money,” he quipped. “Can you really put a price on creativity?”
His students are so young they don’t quite understand the theme.
“When the kids walked in the first day of school, they were like, ‘Wow! It looks cool!’” Perez recalled. “Then several questions followed. ‘Why is everything red? Why are there a bunch of bears? Mr. Perez, do you like bears? Are these red chairs ours?’ The kids did not get it, they just thought I liked the color red and bears.”
But when the parents saw the room on back to school night, they were certainly impressed.
“I had several parents show up, and gave them the tour of their child’s classroom and I explained in detail the concept behind the classroom,” he said. “They were impressed and were excited for me to teach their child. Some of the parents got it right away when they saw the graduation bear on my door. It was all smiles.”
Perez said he created everything with his students in mind.
“I feel as if I tore walls down and created several opportunities for me to think outside the box, and I encourage my students do the same,” the proud teacher explained. “I was innovative while designing this classroom. I aspire to be the Kanye West of teaching: Kanye West is one of the most influential people in the world and is the best at what he does. To elaborate, I want to be a positive influence to my students and be the best teacher I can be for them.”