CMS teacher uses TikTok to reach her students, and thousands more around the world

CMS teacher uses TikTok to reach her students, and thousands more across the world

CHARLOTTE — With so many students struggling with learning from home, Channel 9 education reporter Elsa Gillis found a unique story to share about a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher who is trying to meet her students where they are.

“I was noticing my students spending a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok, but they weren’t always completing my science assignments,” Nancy Bullard said. “And I just thought, OK, well if they aren’t coming to my website to do my work, let me just go to them.”

[SPECIAL SECTION: Return to Learning]

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When schools shut down abruptly in March, and remote learning took over, Bullard, a Huntingtowne Farms Elementary Science Lab teacher, took to TikTok, the app that is so popular with the younger generation.

“My assignments in March became, ‘Watch my TikTok video and then go complete the activity, complete the experiment I did, and write down your observations and come to class tomorrow prepared to share,’” she told Channel 9.

It worked.

“Kids are stopping to watch those and they’re responding -- like this is actually interesting,” Bullard said.

Nancy Bullard
Nancy Bullard (WSOC)

And it’s not just her students who’ve noticed.

“Mrs.B.TV” on TikTok has millions of likes and over 930,000 followers watching and doing Bullard’s experiments, using ingredients most already have at home.

“It has just exploded,” said Bullard. “I have teachers and students following me from all over the world. I love students saying like, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish I could be one of your students,’ and I’m like, ‘You’re my TikTok student.’”

Mrs. B continues to make her videos as she still teaches all her K-5 students remotely. Her page is a bright light during a dark time when so many students are struggling.

“I’m constantly like, ‘Wow, this is amazing that my reach has now expanded from far beyond the walls of my classroom,’” Bullard said.

Through her TikTok adventure, the teacher won a contest that’s bringing scientist Emily Calandrelli of the Netflix show “Emily’s Wonder Lab” to North Carolina elementary students for a science lesson and discussion.

That will take place on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. It is open to all elementary students in North Carolina -- all you have to do is register for the live YouTube event here.

CMS votes to return K-12 students back to full-remote learning