Teacher's viral 'Keep Them Kids' video kicks off the start of summer break

Yazzmin Johnson's viral video has become a summer anthem for teachers.

Teacher's viral 'Keep Them Kids' video kicks off the start of summer break
Courtesy Yazzmin Johnson
June 15, 2023, 4:11 AM

School is out -- or almost out -- for the summer, and your kid's teacher has one message for all the parents out there: "Keep them kids, keep them kids, keep them kids."

That's the refrain made popular by Yazzmin Johnson, a third grade teacher and TikTok creator from Missouri, whose recent TikTok music video has become a veritable hit within the #teachertok community.

PHOTO: Yazzmin Johnson's social media post of a "Teacher's Summer Anthem," a remix of iCandy's "Keep Dat" but with a "Keep Them Kids" refrain has gone viral on TikTok.
Yazzmin Johnson's social media post of a "Teacher's Summer Anthem," a remix of iCandy's "Keep Dat" but with a "Keep Them Kids" refrain has gone viral on TikTok.
Courtesy Yazzmin Johnson

"It's summer break, don't call me 'Ms.' Time to have fun, not grading a quiz," Johnson lip-syncs in a May 18 post that has garnered over 33,000 views.

The lighthearted video clip features Johnson lip-syncing to her own rendition of rapper iCandy's "Keep Dat," with teacher-friendly lyrics swapped in.

PHOTO: Outside of the classroom, Johnson loves to sing and see the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team play.
Outside of the classroom, Johnson loves to sing and see the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team play.
Courtesy Yazzmin Johnson

"The song is basically [about] every single thing that we have to do all year that's become, like, almost an 'ick' in a sense," Johnson explained to "Good Morning America," referring to the buzzword used to describe pet peeves.

PHOTO: Yazzmin Johnson teaches third graders at a Missouri elementary school.
Yazzmin Johnson teaches third graders at a Missouri elementary school.
Courtesy Yazzmin Johnson

Johnson, who has been teaching for five years, said she loves her profession but wanted to post the funny video to celebrate the end of the school year and everything her peers achieved.

"We deserve to pat ourselves on the back and have fun. Because everyone knows, teaching after the pandemic is totally different than before. So, I love seeing teachers just so happy and celebrating with each other," Johnson said.

PHOTO: Johnson has been creating content on TikTok since 2021 in addition to teaching.
Johnson has been creating content on TikTok since 2021 in addition to teaching.
Courtesy Yazzmin Johnson

Johnson said she didn't expect her video to go viral, especially since it didn't get many views the first couple of days after she shared it.

"It was maybe two days later and I told my husband, I was like, 'I think this is a flop. The song is a bop but I think it's a flop.' But it's OK, I do it for fun, you know?" she said. "And after those two days passed, [a young lady], she made a video [using my version of the song], and then someone else made a video, and then someone else made a video, and before long, their videos had thousands of views."

Johnson's original video has since inspired more than 2,000 similar celebratory videos, including TikTok video posted by Regan Porter showing school staffers closing bus doors, tossing papers in the air, throwing confetti and dancing to the now-trending sound.

PHOTO: Teacher Regan Porter shared a TikTok video post with Johnson's trending sound, showing school staffers tossing papers in the air and celebrating the end of the school year.
Teacher Regan Porter shared a TikTok video post with Johnson's trending sound, showing school staffers tossing papers in the air and celebrating the end of the school year.
reglynpot1 via Tiktok

"Whether you're a social worker or I think there were some officers that did it or principals, administrative assistants, it's just interesting seeing everyone's point of view," Johnson said of some of her favorites so far.

"And the parents, oh my goodness, there's so many parents that have done it. And their perspective is, you're realizing, 'Oh, man, my kids are going to be home every day, all day.' And I just think that's hilarious," Johnson added.

As for Johnson, she's looking forward to a relaxing summer ahead, making more fun TikToks, working for her church, and, as a St. Louis Cardinals fan, catching more home games at Busch Stadium.

Editor's note: This was originally published on May 30, 2023.