A Project for Better Journalism chapter

New photography teacher dances his way through school year

Mr. Jamaal Gamble, the new photography and webpage design teacher at Parkdale, went viral in October 2018 after he was videotaped having a dance battle with a freshman student, Ahman Trasada, right in front of the school– after school hours, of course!

Before moving to Maryland, Mr.Gamble lived in the Orlando, Florida area. He worked for Polk County School District as an elementary school arts teacher and taught breakdance at in dance studios.

According to Mr. Gamble, “an internship with Montgomery County State Government as a Graphic Designer and an opportunity to launch and operate my own minority business enterprise” is what made him move to this state.

 Despite this internship opportunity, Mr. Gamble studied art as an undergraduate and hated graphic design “with a passion.” He then switched over to photography, a passion he is passing onto students at Parkdale. Gamble enjoys working out, art-related hobbies, combat sports, and of course dancing.

Considering the weather huge weather differences, coming from the Sunshine State to live in Maryland has been a huge change for Mr. Gamble, among other things.  However, he takes it all in stride.

“The transition from Florida to Maryland has been filled with challenges,” Mr. Gamble explained. “But that’s life I suppose.”

While some teachers would not approve of being videotaped by students, Mr. Gamble found the fun and ability to connect to and build relationships with his students through the experience.

“I felt like having some fun so I did,” Mr. Gamble said. “[I] basically challenged the group of students, some of whom are in my classes, to a dance battle.”

As the year continues, students may get some more glimpses into Mr. Gamble’s cool dance moves!