MALVERN, Ark.— An Arkansas teacher is helping people across the world through social media.
Claudine James teaches 7th grade English at Malvern Middle School.
She is one of many teachers who upload their lessons virtually as the country continues to navigate the pandemic. After facing some challenges connecting with her middle schoolers, she said she decided to go from YouTube to a newer site.
“When I looked, the YouTube videos didn’t have any hits– so when the students returned, I was like– did you all watch my lessons? And they were like no,” said Ms. James. “They said we don’t do YouTube Ms. James. I was like what do you do? And they were like we do TikTok.”
James says she had her students show her how to navigate the App.
“When the students showed me I was like oh my, because of the dancing,” laughed James.
James says in an effort to get her students to watch the lessons, she started a TikTok account with the username “I’m that English Teacher.”
“I’m that teacher that is going to do whatever it takes for a kid to be successful,” said James.
Since December, her profile has gone viral. She has gained more than 150,000 followers and gets messages daily from people thanking her for her simple grammar lessons.
“I’ve had people from all over– Japan, Vietnam, Argentina, Canada, lots of followers from Canada,” said James.
She says she had no idea that her 60-second lessons would go viral but says she is thankful to be educating people worldwide.
“I feel like that this Tik-Tok world I’m in is just another extension of I touch the future I teach,” said James.
She says she has had people all over the world reach out for her help and will begin tutoring students in other counties via Zoom.