The Flowing Teacher: Memphis high school teacher rhymes truth of educator pay

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Melrose High School teacher is getting thousands of views on social media for spreading a message of teacher pay through rhyme.

Maranja May wants to let everyone know the truth about what it takes to be a teacher.

To parents, she’s known as the supply chain and logistics teacher at Melrose. But to her students, she said she’s known as the Flowing Teacher.

To the sound of Lizzo’s song, "Truth Hurts," May said she wanted to shed light on a much deeper issue: teacher pay.

She said the idea came after the Shelby County School district announced teachers would receive a 3% pay raise.

“This has got to be a joke," May said. "Is this really 3%?"

May said the base salary for a teacher in the district is $43,000.

“I’ve used money out of my own pocket to help kids get groceries in their home, to pay for dues that they need, senior dues," May said. "Some students struggle with getting their hair done. I come out of my pocket for a lot, but it’s all a part of the job."

May said it’s her job to do as much for her students as possible, but she wants those on the outside to know it’s no easy task.

“It’s hard work," she said. "Just know we’re not glorified babysitters, but we are hardworking people.”

May said this isn't the first time she's recorded a video expressing her thoughts. She said she uses music as a creative way to teach her students.

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