The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again | Freethink

– Boys and girls, I brought you all in here because I wanted to talk to you about a couple of things. There’s people that talk about you that don’t even know you! You know what they say? There’s lots of fights. There’s lots of trouble. Well, we’re gonna change that! – [Students] Yes, sir. – We don’t want nobody talking about our school
a certain way no more. We are not here to be average, we’re here to be amazing. Does everybody understand? – [Students] Yes, sir! – And by the way, you have to be the change. In education, we’ve got a huge problem. We’ve gotta move away from this
archaic educational process where we build these
schools on square boxes, and kids fill these square boxes. The world isn’t a square box no more. Times changed, kids have changed, and we gotta move with that. How far are you willing to go for a child? My name is Hamish Brewer, and I am not your typical principal. I’m trying to change the game for principal. what’s funny is, I’ve always seen myself as a educational disruptor. Because I was so frustrated with the way education’s
been done for so long, I think I was just on a
mission to disrupt the norm. Before I got to Occoquan, Occoquan was a sleepy little school. It was ready to be awoken, and we are working the beast there. If there was a way to make that experience for our kids authentic and relevant, we were gonna do it. We went to unlimited field trips. We changed their lighting
to daylight bulbs. We went to an audio enhanced classroom, revolutionized the classroom. So as a school we went in that direction, then it just exploded from there. In five years, we won five
School of Excellence awards. We’re not defined by letter grades. We’re not defined by a number. We’re defined by what we do. – [Student] Now let’s give it up for the best principal in the world! – [Principal Brewer] Are we average? – [Students] No! – [Principal Brewer] What are we? – [Students] Relentless! – [Principal Brewer] It’s
unbelievable the journey at Occoquan is coming to an end. We created such a magical
experience with kids and adults. I wanna get back to
disrupting the flow again. It’s sad to say goodbye, but I’m excited now to say that I’m transitioning this summer to be the new principal at
Fred Lynn Middle School. – Bye Mr. Brewer. – [Student] I’m gonna miss you. – I’m gonna miss you too, sweetheart. I love you. Love ya. When I was a kid, I was always dreaming of
the things I didn’t have or couldn’t have. That became my inspiration
and my aspiration. I think part of what
makes my principalship and leadership style so successful is that I’m trying not to repeat the mistakes that were made for me. I was one of these kids. I know what it’s like to
come from a separated family. I know what it’s like
to see too much alcohol, and other things, and all the
poverty that comes with it. I know what it’s like to eat pizza ’cause it’s cheaper to get
a piece of pizza that night than it is to have a full meal. When you can relate to them on that level, that’s when you can change the game. This work isn’t for everybody. You’re gonna hear and see things that might really break your heart reminding you of how
much work is left to do. In schools where you’ve
got a lot of diversity and a lot of poverty, often folks don’t always stay. These kids have people revolving
in and out of their lives. I have to be the constant. I came here because I wanted to be here. I want Fred Lynn, I want this school. Historically Fred Lynn has underachieved. It hasn’t been where we wanted it to be. We want that explosion of growth now. We want to unlock its true potential. If this doesn’t change, I’ve failed a community. I’ve failed children. I can’t fail. This community is counting on me. This community knows me, they believe in me. I can’t fail them. That’s not an option. You just want it counted, nothing underneath it, right? – You just need to count ’em. – All right, done. Done, consider it done. Give me your receipt, sign it, I’ll pay for it. It doesn’t matter where I am, I want to do something magical. I’m gonna look for those opportunities in a building to do that. I’m doing it here at Fred Lynn, I did it at Occoquan. This is my house. Like, this is mine now. Welcome to my house! One of my favorite things to do is to change the face of the facility. I want to make it that
most amazing a place for kids to come. I don’t want them to be
short-changed on anything. These kids have enough
short-changed in their life, let alone coming to a school and being short-changed in a school. The kids at Fred Lynn are gonna see and feel a different message, to go to a place they’ve
never been before, and they’re surrounded by that. When you can look on a wall, and you see Dr. King or you see Steve Jobs, you instantly go to a new place. You have to unlock the
potential of these kids! We have to be the advocate for them, the voice for them that’s never been! When I was kid, the most
amazing experiences I had, I was having fun. I’ve tried to recreate
that here at Fred Lynn. Everything I do is about kids. Every decision I make comes back to was I better for kids today. It’s about having fun. It’s good to see you,
thanks for coming out. Mr. Brewer, the new principal, I appreciate you guys coming out. I had a bunch of teachers, “Do you want us to come help?” and I’m like, “Nah, we
might get 10 people.” I’m in trouble, the place is packed. It’s so important to have
buy-in from the community because that’s what’s gonna
move the needle forward. If we don’t have buy-in, nothing changes.
What’s up, man, how ya doin’? Good to see ya, is this your guy? – Yes. – I’m Mr. Brewer, your new principal, and I am super excited
to be the new principal, the new director here at
Fred Lynn Middle School! I came from a school that was one of the very best in the nation. We did not start that way, but we finished that way. We plan to make Fred Lynn the next best school in the nation. All right? I can’t do this without you. You’re signing up to be
part of an amazing school and changing the narrative of
what happens in Woodbridge, what happens at Fred Lynn, and I need you. All right, there’s no opt-out, all in means all in. We have a gang mentality almost here. You’re either in our gang or you’re not. There’s no opting out of what
we want to do and achieve. All hands on deck, all hands on deck. Let’s go! Open ’em up, let’s go! All right, let’s go, game time! Game time, let’s go! Good morning, Hornets, it’s our time! It’s go time! It’s gonna be special this year. I want to see you thinking
about being relentless, also, and this, if somebody didn’t tell
you today they love you, Mr. Brewer’s telling you
today that he loves you. Have a great day! Down low, down low, down low! Up high, up high! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! Let’s get to class, let’s hustle! So today is the first day at Fred Lynn Middle School, first day back. Good morning, everybody! – [Students] Good morning, Mr. Brewer. – Great job! You guys excited today? I’m excited to see you guys. We’re big on manners, all right? Mr. Brewer’s chasing that stuff down. – We’ve had principals sometimes
where the kids are like, “Who is the principal?” I mean that’s awful, right? He’s showing the kids
what the expectation is but he’s also coming into our classroom. I mean they’re gonna know
who he is in three seconds. – Already you have kids saying, “Yes, sir. “Yes, ma’am.” You have kids looking you in the eyes saying good morning. They’re walking on the
correct side of the hallway. They’re more on time. – I texted some of the
teachers from Occoquan and said, “He’s doing it again.” That transitioning, that energy, it’s contagious. – I feel alive again. I feel like, “Hey, this is
why I became a teacher,” was to do cool stuff so
we can inspire these kids. If you wouldn’t believe before today, you’re believing now. Never again will anybody doubt us. I’m gonna tell you why I’m
asking you to work so hard, because life ain’t easy. Life is not gonna give you handouts. We are going to change the conversation about our school. I need your help. You have to be the answer. You have to be the change. You’re gonna be relentless! If we can help people grow or help people be the change or evolve to that place, then we’ve helped all kids. It’s gotta be beyond just what we did here at Occoquan or Fred Lynn. The ultimate goal is to help all kids. All kids deserve this. Baa! Who’s your favorite principal today? – [Student] Right now you are. – Yeah, good answer! Oh, this is great! Can I come and hang out in your class? – [Cellphone App] Make a left, sucker! – All right, Mr. T., let’s roll. You guys are crazy, you’re having way too much fun in here. Stop that. Stop that business.

About the author


  1. Wow, the take away I get from this is that this guy is more about his own ego than any changes to a school system. These schools need someone who sets an example, not a principle who looks, acts, and behaves on a sixth grade level. Schools ARE  square boxes, structured  environments, that must be run by a principle who speaks correctly (his English is atrocious, and I don't mean his accent), and behaves as an authoritarian,  not a pop star. This is wrong on so many levels. He is not doing these kids any favors by behaving like one of them….foolish!!!

  2. It has been 20 some years sense I walked the halls of Fred Lynn Middle School. Mr. Brewer, you ARE the future of education and you are a true inspiration! All the best to you, your staff and your students!!

  3. Just watched this in my ODU instructional leadership class. You rock! I definitely gravitate towards your leadership style.

  4. so do they pay teachers like 50k in new zealand because those teachers from the video sound like they are americans because america pays shit to teacher.

  5. It can be done. Well done sir. I hope the faculty know how truly blessed they are. I'm sure the students are learning!

  6. if my principal was like that i would not have dropped out.bless this man and everyone like him.our world would have a much better chance if there were more like him.

  7. Welp their goes my old principal…Leaving Occoquan to help fredlynn… by by mr.Brewer!!! Make Fredlynn amazing like Occoquan!!-From a student from Occoquan Elemnetry school 5th Grade Mpango tribal Leader

  8. I wish more principals were as passionate as he is. Most principals just see their students as fucking pawns and numbers and just manipulate their students and its just disgusting. But this man is a true principal.

  9. "We don't want nobody talking about us…" If you can't even use proper grammar, then why are you principal of a school, a place for learning?

  10. I love our school but I think that they tend to "box" the kids in! Limiting them! As much as he is a GREAT principal… he really needs to be teaching others about how to be a principal. Instead of affecting one school at a time…start affecting the NATION.

  11. Damn I got emotional, this is just what I needed back in school. I'm so glad college is more like this.

  12. My school is kind of like this. The vice principal will come around to different classes and hang out with us, we call all of our teachers by their first names, we’re actually friends with our teachers, we have connections with them, they try to understand us and I love it so much

  13. This school is so cool mr.fred lynn
    is like the best principal ever I think no other principal would be this fun and energetic I would love to go to this school but I live in New York so I don’t know if this school is in New York 🙁

  14. Right on Mr. Brewer. I wish I had a Principal or teacher like this. I may have been a better student. I changed my life but it wasn't easy. I hated school but managed to get through college and got a job as a law enforcement officer. Six and half years later I returned to school to earn my teaching credential. I have been teaching for 17 years now and love what I do. The best part of what I do is inspire and engage students in a fun classroom environment. Students don't think about work and projects, they think about learning and making it fun. They ask when is the next assignment.

  15. As a freshman who went to Fred Lynn for all three years, I just gotta say that nothing's changed at all. Didn't really care about the eighth graders at all. Everything's stayed the same except for a couple of murals. Heck, now they even have a brand new gym. All of the "new and improved" installments happened once all of the eighth graders left.

  16. principal mr. Brewer try to do anything but that's cool be the worst school k I am from Occoquan now I am in another school I'm in middle school now I'm not in that stupid fredlund School and that's my speech

  17. 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑👍🏻

  18. Love this guys attitude. There are never enough, but in some places, guys like this get iced, basically fired, hindered and shipped off. Detroit has been resisting people that want to shape things up.

    They don't want to hear about change. They just want great pay and benefits and the conversation stops there. They like "thug life" in Detroit and thug leaders, like Coleman Young.

  19. Mr. Brewer visited my daughter's middle school today, and she couldn't wait to show me this video. I love his spirit and attitude to LOVE and HELP the kids!

  20. I watch this with wears in my eye cause I was one of them then I changed but it’s ok I’m still a hornet !!

  21. Thanks for watching! We returned to Fred Lynn and filmed a followup–watch here: and don't forget to subscribe and share!

  22. MR.BREWER you are the best principle I've ever had all the pep rally all the times you say "if nobody has told you they loved you mr.brewer is telling you he loves you" and you are the best principle and I'm gonna rock my tests becuz of you

  23. I was sceptical when I opened the video, but he actually is a great influence- liked the openness, trying to relate to kids, dismissing the useless formalism- he is great.

  24. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL SO MUCH I hope he never leaves cause these will be the three years of my life I will cry if he ever leave tbh


  25. I like his attitude. As long as the children become competent, okay.
    It's super important for kids to know they are loved and have the potential to do well. Loved his comments that her loves them. And means it.

    Was bummed to see Obama on the "greats" wall. He was all propaganda, no real substance. MLK. Now there was a man who accomplished great things, brought peace and understanding into our country. Made it more just.

    Regrettably Mr. Obama did the exact opposite. So much potential wasted.

  26. My granddaughters principal retired last year. He was also my children's principal when they were in school. Now my granddaughters are being home schooled. The new principal is not taking that school in a good direction. I'm so glad to see this man giving his all to these children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *