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The Story Behind that Voorhees Middle School ‘Friends’ Parody
Jayne Jacova Feld

As hard as it is to be a kid stuck at home doing distance learning, it’s tough on their teachers too.

“My teacher friend Tara Johnson and I were talking about how much we miss the kids and feel bad for them,” says Voorhees Middle School teacher Chrissy Blizzard-Wrobel. “We were imagining how hard it is to be a 12-year-old stuck at home. Their social life is their life.”

With that conversation last Sunday night, the theme song to “Friends” popped into her head – and hasn’t left since. Blizzard-Wrobel, who teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Johnson, an ELA teacher, decided to create a music video spoofing the song “I’ll be there for you.”

VMS teacher Chrissy Blizzard-Wrobel and her son, John, at their home in Cherry Hill.

They brainstormed new lyrics to describe these crazy times, got the ok from their principal and then sent out a casting call to all VMS teachers. Within hours, 40 teachers took on the challenge of singing, acting or otherwise performing some silly part for the video. They all recorded their parts at home and sent their recordings to her to piece together.

The turnaround time from when teachers got their assignments to when the video posted on YouTube was less than 48 hours, she says.

“I worked on it all night Monday because I wanted to get it out before someone else got the idea,” says Blizzard-Wrobel, who lives in Cherry Hill with her husband, Ian Wrobel, and their 20-month-old son, John.

On Wednesday morning the video debuted on YouTube. Almost immediately, it went viral in South Jersey – and way beyond. “One of the parents with connections to NBC got the attention of “Today.” It was shared online and it was also shown on TV in Canada, France and Germany, she says.

Closer to home, where it really mattered, the message definitely got through. Here are some of the comments that other VMS teachers shared with her.

 

“I like how some teachers showed their hobbies.”
“I liked when she threw all of the homework. Can we do that too? It would be very fun!”
“I love that teachers did this for us. This made me feel like they really love their students.”
“My favorite part was that it said that you will always be there for us.”
“It made me feel like you really miss us”

 

Blizzard-Wrobel says it was well worth losing a night’s sleep to show the kids that their teachers are there for them. Her one regret: now that the song is forever lodged in her head, she wants to re-watch the show.

“It’s a shame that “Friends” is no longer on Netflix,” she says. “It would have been great to binge-watch it again with all the time we have now.”

 

Teachers Serenade Students with 'Friends' Parody During Coronavirus Shutdown

Everyone sing along! Teachers from Voorhees Middle School came together to show their students – who are home due to the coronavirus shutdowns – how much they miss them with a parody of one of the greatest theme songs of all time. #SJStaysHome

Posted by SJ Magazine on Friday, March 27, 2020

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