Is Tik Tok Bringing Awareness to the Teacher Shortage?


Images show different ways teachers use TikTok. Photo courtesy of Youtube channel TikTok Memes.

The Popularity Of TikTok

A worldwide popular app has a grip on our society, and that app is Tiktok. Previously, the app was known as and it had been the first video–sharing app to gain popularity with younger generations rapidly. In 2018, a Chinese company called ByteDance acquired and renamed it TikTok. This app became more than a lip-syncing platform, it became an informative, entertainment, and educational platform with over 1 billion active monthly users.

There are many opportunities to learn on this app and to educate others. “TeacherTok”, as it is called on TikTok, provides a platform for many present or former teachers to teach, learn, and make funny skits about their experiences as teachers. These teachers’ knowledge could help future generations and our future teachers, even if it is on an app like TikTok. 

Reasons Teachers Use TikTok

Who knew TikTok would be a platform for teachers to reach an audience such as students or future teachers? Probably not even them! However, many have found TikTok to be a great source of reliable information, and this is why users of the app have expressed themselves openly, especially teachers. Here are some ways TeacherTok has reached out: funny skits, controversial skits, educational skits, informative chats, helpful tips, and many more. 

‘A Chance, a Change’ can be in motion to help the teacher shortage issues. It may or may not result in more people wanting to teach, but it will bring insight to society into the toll students’ behavior, the ‘broken education system,’ complicated school district rules, disrespectfully low pay, and workload can do to an educator. Let’s get into specific examples from TikTok creators that show the incredible uses of this app.

Teachers Have A Voice, Too

The hashtag #TeacherQuitTok has been circling the app and the worldwide web. A creator with the username @jeskazeeeee, a former junior high teacher, shared a TikTok stating: “One reason out of a thousand I quit teaching junior high was because of an incident where a stranger barged into my classroom in a frantic manner, and when I realized my students were potentially at risk, I called administrators who allegedly said there was nothing the teacher could do because the intruder was a graduate of the school.” Not only is this dangerous, but it is irresponsible of the school staff to allow a person, who is no longer a participating student, to enter the school. 

Another creator with the username @Hollyacre, a former teacher, shared a TikTok stating: “Because of the stress and the second-hand trauma from the classroom, I developed anxiety, and I fell into a depression. I had to go to the doctor, and he prescribed me talk therapy and antidepressants, all to cope with my daily job.” In the video, she continued to explain how she dreaded going to work every day, felt there was no time for herself or friends, and the pay was nowhere near good enough to keep up with the lifestyle she wanted for herself. To conclude her video, Holly cited what drove her to officially leave teaching “The number one reason I didn’t want to do it anymore was the behavior issues. I just got tired of dealing with them, and I knew it was my time to leave.” This is a continuous cycle of reasons teachers are leaving the profession. 

How Teachers Add Positivity 

Fortunately, teaching is not as bad as it seems to others. Teachers spread positivity on the app about how great or hilarious it is to be a teacher sometimes. This side of TikTok is called #TeachersofTikTok; this hashtag can help influence teachers who have found themselves in a deep hole. 

A creator with the username @its.jnycole, an elementary teacher, has many videos of her interacting with her students. One aspect of her classroom many viewers on TikTok have noticed is that she has a greeting board outside her classroom. This gives students a chance to choose how they want to greet their teacher in the morning; options are a silly face, salute, wink, pinky hug, thumbs up, fist bump, elbow bump, dance, hug, or hip bump. She also includes positive affirmations or messages for her students before the beginning of class. This boosts their confidence to have an amazing rest of their school day. Ms. J Johnson is an aspiring influencer and known as the “cool teacher” in her school. Viewers could not agree more with her talent to educate these children in her special way. 

Another creator with the username @silb0017, a high school teacher with over 1 million followers, has changed the wave of including his students in his TikToks. Of course, permission is given to Mr. Silberman before posting these TikToks. He posts funny skits either by himself or with his students, and he also gives good advice on his page. For example, he posts himself dancing to trendy TikTok dances, and then his students will cringe at him or sometimes they join in. Many see teachers like these and become refreshed and inspired to do the same.

How Society Can Help Change This Dynamic

These TikToks could change the way future teachers look at their careers or how students perceive the amount of work their teachers do for them. Spreading the word to all school districts about how teachers are suffering because of their careers every day could affect how the administration respects or helps their staff through mental or physical health issues. Students can use this knowledge to their advantage by treating their teacher with more respect and making sure their teacher feels appreciated for their hard work. 

TikTok can start putting the negatives and positives of teaching on users’ pages. This way, it not only gives insight to a few viewers but can also empower a large group of people to make a change. It is flabbergasting how a simple app for teenagers could change our education system and solve our teacher shortage. The only question is, will you be the change?

This is a sneak peek article into an investigative and deeply researched series on the teacher shortage. As big as this issue is worldwide, so is the material that will be presented to you in the near future. Stay tuned!