Being a principal can be a serious and stressful job. But thankfully, Gerry Brooks is able to see the lighter side of his role. So, when snow day came around, he took the opportunity to have a little fun. And soon the video went totally viral.
Gerry Brooks is an elementary school principal unlike any other. He may be the head of Liberty Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky, but he also has another passion that runs alongside his day job. In fact, Brooks is the star of his very own YouTube channel.
And it’s not just any old amateur channel. Incredibly, Brooks has amassed over 23 million views across his selection of videos. Not only that, but the school head has more than 78,000 subscribers. But it was one of his uploads in particular that received a huge amount of attention.
The video in question begins with Brooks sitting in his office at school. In the background, the viewer can see that it has been snowing outside, as a few inches have settled on the grass in the parking lot. The camera pans across to the principal who then explains what’s going on.
“A lot of people wonder what principals do when it’s a snow day,” Brooks says to the camera. “So I’d like to go ahead and show what we do on snow days.” What unfolds is so hilarious that the footage has attracted more than 648,000 views.
The next shot shows Brooks in what appears to be the school hall. But instead of hosting assembly, the principal is seen walking around spinning two hula hoops around each of his arms. From that moment on, it’s clear that the viewer is in for a treat. There’s no one around and the gleeful principal has free rein of the school.
Following on from his hula hoop exploits comes a scene from the school corridor. Brooks first appears in the left of the shot at a horizontal angle. Initially, it seems that he is pretending to swim. But then it becomes apparent that he is traversing the floor lying on a skateboard.
Sticking with the sports theme, Brooks then enters the gymnasium to shoot some hoops. Being an elementary school, the hoop is a little low for the grown man, yet he still manages to miss the shot in a pretty dramatic fashion. Next up, it’s time for some music.
Kneeling on the ground in what is presumably the school’s music room, Brooks performs a tune on the xylophone. But only a few seconds in, it’s time to move on again. The principal runs and crawls from classroom to classroom, before settling down with a good book, The Ugly Duckling.
Next, perhaps embarrassed by his earlier basketball fail, the principal returns to the gymnasium to have another try. This time, in slow-motion, he dunks the ball straight through the hoop with true panache. And to celebrate he takes a space hopper for a spin.
Brooks seems determined to cover all aspects of the curriculum, so he heads over to the Spanish classroom next. Pretending to teach a class of elementary-aged kids, the principal energetically begins reciting the seasons in his best Spanish accent.
After all the running around, the hilarious head moves on to the canteen for some well-deserved lunch. But, seeing as he’s the only person in school that day, he decides to get behind the counter himself. Brooks assumes the role of dinner lady, asking imaginary kids if they’d like spaghetti or fish.
By now, Brooks is really on a roll and is next seen in a variety of scenarios: carrying out an experiment in the science lab, cleaning the hallway, banging a set of drums and stealing some supplies from a storage cupboard. And after such a busy day running riot by himself, it’s no surprise that the principal is now starting to flag a little.
Hence, one of the final shots of the video, and probably one of the funniest, shows a huge pile of cushions on a window ledge. At first glance the viewer might think it’s just that, but as the camera zooms in, it becomes clear that all the excitement has left the principal somewhat worn out. As a result, he appears to be sleeping soundly beneath the pillows.
It’s no surprise that the hysterical video has become such an online hit. However, the principal is careful to keep his job and his social media persona separate. “I don’t want them to get mixed up. This job comes first and foremost,” Brooks told The Miami Herald in May 2017.
Brooks has made countless funny videos, each of which has amassed thousands of views. In fact, the principal has gathered such a large following online that he has set up a live version of his comedy called the “Hall Pass Tour.” But that’s not all.
The irrepressible Brooks also uses his position as a popular YouTube star to help other teachers. In the holidays or on the weekends, he takes time to give motivational speeches, with the aim of encouraging educators to improve their teaching. And it seems his efforts are having an effect.
One Florida teacher saw the Hall Pass Tour and sang its praises online. Michelle Bily said that it was “one of those moments where the universe knew exactly how much humor and professional advice to dump on me at just the right time.”
And she wasn’t the only educator to think that. Ashley Lynn, from Casey County, KY, also gave him the thumbs-up. “He speaks the truth, but then he puts a twist on it,” Lynn told the Lexington Herald Leader. “He says what everybody is feeling and makes you laugh. When I’m having a bad day, I can watch one of his videos and I can laugh, and it’s better.”
There’s no doubt that Brooks is a principal with a difference. Not only does he make people laugh through his videos, but there’s also a serious side to his endeavors. What’s more, Brooks’ videos also prove that being a teacher can be fun, especially on snow days.