Alex Kajitani was a struggling new teacher at a tough, inner-city school in San Diego. As the students came in each day unable to remember simple math concepts from the day before, yet singing every word to the new rap song on the radio, he realized he needed a new approach. Fed up with the students coming in rapping lyrics about violence, drug use, and mistreating women, he began to perform rap songs about the math he was teaching. He used authentic rap beats similar to what was on the radio, and interjected messages about making good decisions and living a positive life.
The songs quickly became legendary throughout the school, and the district. Test scores soared, and Kajitani’s “at-risk” students began outperforming their more affluent counterparts on districtwide tests...
This was over seven years ago, and marked the official birth of The Rappin’ Mathematician™. Since then, Kajitani has turned a new teacher’s desperate attempt to connect with his students into a nationwide teaching tool. Teachers, parents, home-schoolers and administrators across the country are reporting The Rappin’ Mathematician™ music not only getting their kids better grades in math, but getting them excited about math and school as well! Click here to read testimonials.
Alex Kajitani still works in one of San Diego County’s poorest school districts. He now coaches fellow teachers, specializing in turnaround strategies for individual teachers and teacher teams. He was named California Teacher of the Year and a Top-4 Finalist for 2009 National Teacher of the Year.
Alex also travels the country delivering powerful and inspiring keynote presentations, and conducting workshops on a variety of topics, including “Making Math Cool,” Cutting-Edge Strategies to Close the Achievement Gap,” “The TurnAround Teacher” and many more. He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Curriculum & Instruction and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. When not in the teacher trenches, Kajitani spends his free time with his wife (and editor!) Megan Pincus Kajitani and their kids, and at the beach surfing.