Creativity and the willingness to approach a task from a different perspective are valued traits, especially during a pandemic, and they also help illustrate why Ben Golden was named Rockin’ Jump’s Teacher of the Month in April.

With schools in a COVID-19 induced shutdown, Golden has been forced to conduct classes online, which isn’t the easiest way to hold the attention of more than 20 fifth graders.

So what does Golden, now in his fifth year at Daisy Elementary School in Loris, do?

A long-time guitar player, he picked up his favorite instrument and played the song “Rude,” changing the lyrics to reflect everyone’s disdain for the pandemic we find ourselves in. The kids loved his rendition, and it was just another example of what makes the Connecticut native so popular.

“The most rewarding thing for me as a teacher is seeing happiness and improvement (in my students),” Golden said. “I want them to have fun in the classroom while still taking care of business, and making kids laugh while getting the point across is the most rewarding.”

Golden majored in journalism at Hofstra University but discovered his passion for teaching while working as a substitute in Connecticut. He earned his masters from the University of Bridgeport, and taught one year in the Nutmeg State before heading south.

As fate would have it, his wife, also a teacher, was a Coastal Carolina University grad, and the couple decided to make the Palmetto State home. Golden worked in Florence for two years before the position in Loris opened up, bringing him closer to the coast, much to the benefit of students at Daisy Elementary.