MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South teacher is stepping up the game as he motivates his students in a very unique way.
Michael Scruggs is as much motivational speaker as teacher as he starts his social studies class every day at W.E.B. Du Bois Schools. For the last seven years the teacher has done laps around his classroom to pump up high schoolers. He also has his students recite the same inspirational saying before class starts.
"The kids thought I was crazy," Scruggs said.
Crazy maybe. Effective definitely for students--past and present. Attendance in Scruggs' class has skyrocketed since he started his mantra.
"So I'm seeing change in behavior," Scruggs recalls. "They're successful. They're starting to apply the motto 'I am successful' and they're seeing great results from it."
Myles Bowens is one of Scruggs' students. He says his teacher's mantra is not crazy. It made him think he could be whatever he wanted to be.
"It makes me feel that he actually cares about us," Bowens said. "That he's not just here to get paid."
It's paying off for the school and for all of Memphis. It's shining a light on the positive aspects of a school system and city with a violent history. And it's through some important steps Scruggs is taking during his class.
"So for me to tell a child that you are number one and for them to believe it and then you see the results from that," Scruggs said. "That's the biggest reward a teacher can ever get."