COLUMBIA – A Columbia public school teacher goes viral on TikTok, a video-sharing social network, as she presents her journey as a kindergarten teacher through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dawnavyn James is in her second year of teaching at Parkade Elementary School. She said the past year has been stressful for teachers, but her students keep her motivated.
âI have a large group of kids taking this trip with me,â James said. “I couldn’t ask for a better kindergarten group to do with this year.”
James makes TikTok videos, showing herself and her different daily experiences as a kindergarten teacher. When the classes were fully online, she said she wanted to record those moments, describing them as a new experience for herself and her students.
âI thought I should document this so people can see what teachers are going through when they teach kids virtually online,â James said. “I asked some teachers to say ‘it looks like I’m looking at myself and what we went through today.'”
James said his videos help connect with other teachers across the country.
âSo many people said they enjoyed the videos. They say it helps them get through their school day and reminds them of their own classroom,â James said.
Kindergarten parent Hannah Watts said it was a great experience to watch her daughter learn from James.
âIt was really fun as a parent to be a fly on the wall and experience not only what she teaches, but also how she teaches it,â Watts said.
Watts’ daughter Mackenzie said she loved having class with James.
âYou can just see it in her general mood. She was beaming,â Watts said. “You can tell the parts where she’s really engaged. She loves Mrs. James.”
Kindergarten student Landon is another fan of his teacher. When asked what he liked best about James, he replied: “everything”.
Another student, Hannah, said she liked having him as a teacher.
âShe’s really fun,â Hannah said.
âKindergarten is a big deal, so I want to make it as exciting as possible for them,â James said.
Watts said James shared a positive learning environment, encouraging all of his students.
âIt’s very easy to see how happy our daughter is with her,â Watts said. “We are grateful to Ms. James and what she is doing.”
To see how James (or @dawnahtelloh) engages students, take a look at his Tik Tok profile here!