Brad Paisley spent his weekend crashing people's Zoom calls, and one lucky group was a number of Mississippi teachers who were on the platform for their weekly meeting. Last week, Paisley told fans that he was planning on jumping into some Zoom calls on Saturday, and invited fans to text him to invite him to their virtual events.
"On a whim, I decided to invite him to our 'Teacher Night In' and never in a million years did I think Brad Paisley would actually jump on," Ashlyn Williamson, a third grade teacher at Oak Grove Elementary School, told the Hattiesburg American. Williamson explained that she decided to text the number Paisley sent out after she saw him surprise another group during their video meeting. She and her own group were on their call for around 15 minutes before Williamson noticed that the "No I in Beer" singer was online, so she added him to the meeting.
Paisley, a noted Star Wars fan, joined wearing a Mandalorian helmet, and the teachers "screamed with excitement" when he revealed his identity before letting the group know that he was appreciative of everything teachers are doing during the pandemic. "If you don't like this, then go be somebody that can fix this kind of thing someday. Go figure out what needs done and channel this," Paisley told the group. "Become what you want to be. It's not fair, I hate it, go out there and make a difference."
"We were shocked!" third grade special education teacher Leslie Payne said of Paisley's surprise appearance. "I made him sing because I didn't believe him! And he gave a sweet message to our senior children that I recorded."
"It was super kind of him to jump on with us just to say hi," Williamson added. "He didn't get anything out of it besides our happiness and cheering us up, which we definitely needed."
Williamson and her fellow teachers are currently not able to see their students in person due to the coronavirus pandemic and she wanted to organize the meeting to lift the spirits of a few teachers who were "feeling down" about being out of the classroom. "We are still plugging along with digital learning, but we definitely miss being able to see our sweet kids every day and give them a hug or high-five of encouragement," she said.
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On Sunday, Paisley posted a recap of what he dubbed "The Paisley Pubcrawl" on Instagram, sharing a video of himself crashing a number of Zoom calls and sharing a drink with a few fans. "Here's a recap of the (virtual) pub crawl last night. I'm so inspired by you all, so moved by your togetherness and spirit," his caption read. "Thanks for the invites, what a blast. I crawled for 3 hours, and the ones I didn't get to, there'll be a next time! #wereallinthistogether #teameffort #Noiinbeer. And thanks to my band mate #PeytonManning for crashing it!"