Getting insider information on what the kids are into these days is one of the unexpected perks of being a teacher, but what happens when teachers cross the line from insider to participant?
Answer a TikTok dance battle obviously.
Teachers at Terrigal Public School (TPS) pride themselves on providing fun and engaging opportunities for their students to connect with one another, and when distance education came into effect, finding ways to deliver these opportunities became more important than ever before.
The video sharing app is the latest social media platform to amass a cult like following from Gen Z, with the comical and sometimes bizarre antics of creators propelling it to popularity well before COVID-19 drove even more young people online.
Quirky dance videos have become a staple among the most popular TikToks, with a trio of teachers from TPS diving into the rabbit hole.
Teachers, Joel Delaney, Tom Hogan and Jake Foster, flawlessly executed the spoof dance of The Weekend’s track ‘Blinding Lights’ as a fun send off for students on the last day of Term 1, but like the playground, TikTok is an uber competitive environment, and in a classic girls versus boys moment, their colleagues, Tayla Lythall, Brydie Tancred and Gemma Cooper-Remington, made their own spoof.
Taking on another popular parody dance to a remixed version of ‘Girlz Just Wanna Have Fun’, their TikTok was made to welcome students back to Term 2.
Both videos have resulted in a social media storm for the school, and have gained thousands of views, shares and requests for more.
Lythall is also the school’s Social Media Manager and said staff have been blown away by the response.
“Due to the virus, teachers have been asked to come up with ideas for online content that kids want to connect and engage with on a totally new level.
“The feedback has been so positive.
“Both students and parents have been commenting how much they enjoyed watching it, and for the teachers, it’s been nice to show everyone that we’re normal people just like them,” Lythall said.
Deputy Principal, Tracey McKeown, said she was very proud of all the staff involved.
“Our teachers really do go above and beyond for our students.
“These videos have kept our whole community laughing and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next,” McKeown said.
And according to Lythall, TPS’s TikTok career is just getting started.
“We’ve had lots of requests for specific teachers and staff members to do popular TikToks.
“Lots of kids have even learned the dances that we did and made their own TikToks, so it’s definitely something we’ll be looking at doing again, no spoilers though.”
Both Tiktoks can be viewed on TPS’s social media accounts.
Source: Videos, Apr 29, 2020 – Terrigal Public School, Interviews, Apr 29, 2020 – Tracey McKeown and Tayla Lythall, Terrigal Public School. Reporter: Dilon Luke