Today kicks off National Teacher Appreciation Week, and there’s no better time to honor and celebrate educators across America. From teaching remotely to managing the logistics of hybrid learning, the pandemic has brought no shortage of challenges to teachers. Along the way, more teachers have turned to TikTok to share laughs, inspire other educators and parents, and showcase their creativity, like taking virtual field trips to the zoo, providing lessons on Black history, and sharing tips to help caregivers teach at home.
This Teacher Appreciation Week, we're thrilled to spotlight 10 standout teachers from the TikTok community. Through their creativity and passion for teaching, these educators remind us just how fun learning can be. To show our appreciation for these often unsung heroes, we’re awarding each standout teacher $5,000 to use towards their virtual or in-person classrooms and students. And we're encouraging all teachers to share their stories with the TikTok community this week using #TeachersOnTikTok.
“Teachers play an incredibly important but often undervalued role in our society. They are constantly innovating and adapting, using their own personal resources to enable students to feel seen and heard. We are thrilled to show a small gesture of appreciation towards these educational creators who use TikTok to connect with their students and families in a creative way so that learning continues to be fun no matter the circumstances.” - Stephanie Hind, Manager, Creator Management and Operations, TikTok
Trying new and creative ideas is part of what makes TikTok a fun and supportive place to learn and grow. Whether it's teachers, experts, or enthusiasts empowering people to #LearnOnTikTok or partnering with the National PTA to accelerate distance learning and school meals, TikTok is invested in supporting teens, families, and educators across the country.
Let’s meet our 10 standout teachers on TikTok:
- @iamthatenglishteacher - Claudine, a middle school English teacher, started posting grammar lessons on TikTok as a way to reach her virtual students who weren’t watching her videos on YouTube. Just a few months later, Claudine had over 1.6M followers from 82 different countries. Her followers include ESL learners who mastered basic grammar skills needed for language acquisition, some who needed academic refreshers, and others who use her content to study for various tests. From sharing the difference of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ to practicing synonyms, Claudine’s videos and stories motivate and inspire other teachers. In return, Claudine says TikTok also helps her feel like what she does matters to so many people. TikTok has allowed her classroom to expand around the world, while helping other educators remember how much they are needed in this profession.
- @the_mrskelly - Deidre is a 6th grade teacher in Richmond, Texas who initially joined TikTok to make silly videos with her students. Once the pandemic hit, she wanted to find another way to engage with her math students beyond their regular Zoom classes. That's when she started creating mini math lessons on TikTok, such as how to label quadrants and tips to cross multiply fractions. Deidre credits using the music her students love mixed with education that helps them be more engaged with her TikTok lessons.
- @learningwithheidi - Heidi is a 1st and 2nd grade teacher in Wisconsin who uses TikTok to share tips and advice for other teachers and parents, specifically around the Science of Reading curriculum. She joined TikTok after her daughter told her about the thriving teacher community on the platform. Since then, her videos about an easy phonemic awareness game and things teachers should change in their reading instruction have gone viral. Heidi says TikTok has been more than she ever imagined it would be. She gets messages from parents and teachers who tell her the tips she shares are changing their lives and the lives of their students and children. Heidi says TikTok has allowed her to spread knowledge so much farther than she ever thought she could.
- @mr.mctiktok - Kevin is a middle school and high school teacher in San Diego, California. He first joined TikTok to connect with his students when his school closed due to COVID-19. As a self-described energetic and silly person, teaching in the classroom is where he thrived in developing deep relationships with students. Because the virtual classroom wasn’t enough, Kevin decided to step into the world of his students and join TikTok to create a fun space where he could be himself. His videos, such as one that lists things he can't unhear from his students, allow Kevin to share many laughs with his students.
- @vividmichael - Garett is a Kindergarten teacher in Redmond, Washington who has been teaching from his kitchen during the last year. His partner felt so inspired whenever he’d listen to Garett teach his class, so he started filming and posting on TikTok. The videos of Garett on a virtual field trip to the aquarium and a virtual “Funday Friday” dance party have touched a lot of hearts on the platform and show just how fun and engaging online teaching and learning can be. Garett says TikTok challenged him to be innovative, try new things, and get out of his comfort zone. As a result, he’s been able to create a positive light for all teachers and parents who watch his videos.
- @mrs.b.tv - Nancy is a fourth generation North Carolina public school educator who teaches science to students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. She joined TikTok in March 2020 just after schools were shut down when she noticed students were spending hours a day on social media but not attending her virtual class. That's when Nancy started posting fun science experiment videos as a way to creatively engage her students during virtual learning, which soon took off on TikTok. Her video demonstrating how cocoa powder is hydrophobic went viral with 12.2M views. Nancy says her students always talk about how they tried one of her TikTok experiments at home with their parents, which makes her proud.
- @fancynancyin5th - Nancy is a veteran 4th and 5th grade teacher in Irvine, California. She first joined TikTok just to watch videos. In fact, her students made her promise not to make any dance videos. Nancy created videos of Post-It note art at school that took off on TikTok and became a competition among classrooms at her school. Last year, she was invited to join TikTok’s Creative Learning Fund to continue contributing to the teacher community through the #LearnOnTikTok platform.
- @spanishforeveryday - Nibaldo teaches Spanish to Kindergarteners through 6th graders in Louisville, Kentucky, but his TikTok videos are reaching millions of people across the world who want to learn Spanish. He joined TikTok as a way to explore new opportunities during the pandemic and reach people who wanted to learn a new language. He creates fun and silly videos that show how to use Spanish in everyday situations, such as how to say “I am busy" and “It’s time to eat”.
- @chemteacherphil - Phil is a popular science educator on TikTok who teaches high schoolers in Culver, Indiana. He first joined TikTok after a student encouraged him to make a video of a gummy bear experiment they did in class. Over the next couple of days, the video gained 15K views while Phil gained over 5K followers. He continued making popular TikTok videos of what he was teaching in class, such as how to extract DNA from strawberries and elemental calcium experiments. Phil’s TikTok videos have encouraged a love and curiosity of science across the TikTok community.
- @lovemsslater - Simone is a Kindergarten teacher in Dallas who joined TikTok while feeling bored during quarantine. She started posting on TikTok because she missed her students and wanted to share her classroom memories. Simone's students love music, so she began incorporating popular songs and dances from TikTok into her lessons. Her heartwarming videos range from sharing positive affirmations with her students to showcasing the occasional technical challenges of virtual learning.