Classroom Champion: NMB teacher uses Tik Tok to engage students during pandemic

Published: May. 5, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - When an elementary school teacher in North Myrtle Beach was nominated for Classroom Champion, the nomination said, “She poured her heart and soul into planning challenging differentiated curriculum to meet her students’ need. It’s her out-of-the-box teaching style that inspires and empowers her students."

A 4th-grade teacher with her own swag, Caroline Rogers, 25, uses her own style to reach students on their level.

CLASSROOM CHAMPION: Nominate a teacher who is a classroom champion

Rogers has been teaching at Ocean Drive Elementary in Horry County for about three years. She started her student teaching there as a reading interventionist.

Her peers and mentor, like Ri’Anna Ward, immediately noticed her passion for teaching.

“She’s thought ahead about what they need and created tools to help them be successful,” said Ward who nominated Rogers as a WMBF News Classroom Champion.

“I’m a co-teacher in our Google classroom so I kind of spy and learn from her," admitted Ward.

She said early on it was easy to see how dedicated the young teacher was to her students.

The 2017 Coastal Carolina University graduate grew up taking dance and was a competitive dancer. She said she found a way to incorporate her love of dance with her passion to teach.

Before the pandemic, she always found creative ways to engage her students.

“She is very brave, I have not been brave enough to try Tik Tok but Caroline has been, and she has used songs that our students love, she has created her own songs and videos using Tik Tok just to appeal to what is very popular with our students and bring them in and get them engaged in our lesson," explained Ward.

Now Rogers has found the popular teen and young adult app to be a blessing as it serves as a way for her to stay connected with her students during the pandemic.

“I think some people have negative connotations with social media, and of course there is a very fine line with social media and your students, but as long as you use it correctly, and you are using it appropriately, positively I just try to uplift them through it," Rogers said.

Since distance learning began due to the coronavirus pandemic, she said her YouTube videos have been a way for her to comfort her students.

“I’m just trying to find a way to connect them, to allow the students to see my face, to hear my voice," Rogers said.

Whether it’s showing off her latest dance moves, or participating in the latest social media challenge, she wants to teach her students life lessons and skills that go beyond the classroom.

“Everything ties back in to something that is plastered on my wall, from my first year of teaching. Make each day a learning opportunity. The kids remind me of that more than anything; they remind me to make each day a learning opportunity," Rogers explained.

She’s truly grateful to be recognized but she tells me that’s not the reason she’s making a difference.

“Everything I do I do it for the kids, the kids are my first intent," Rogers said.

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