Being a teacher during a pandemic presents all kinds of new challenges.
One of the big ones? Making sure your students are actually reading the instructions on their assignments.
Several teachers are showing off a new method for doing just that. However, the trick is dividing users, with some calling it “genius” and others saying it could never work.
The teaching hack, as explained by TikTok user The Creator Educator, involves hiding an “extra,” sillier task in the instructions of a quiz. That instruction is to meow like a cat — out loud — during the assignment.
The TikToker, who teaches elementary school, recorded the results of her instruction-reading test during a math quiz. Slowly, a few of her kids started responding.
As several kids meowed, some students seemed baffled by the situation.
“Why was everyone saying ‘meow?'” one student asks through the video call.
“Ooh, why was everyone saying ‘meow?'” The Creator Educator responds. “Who can tell me?”
As one of her students explained, it was “a test to see who was listening.”
As The Creator Educator explained in her caption, she got the idea from another teacher on TikTok, who many commenters identified as the user Mrs. Sannon. In her version, students received bonus points if they meowed on their test — but apparently, more than 90 percent of them failed to do so.
I had a total of seven students receive a bonus point today.
♬ original sound – _mrs.shannon
The method earned praise from parents and teachers on TikTok, with several users commenting on The Creator Educator’s video that it was a “great idea.”
“Love this,” one user wrote.
“My high schoolers would start meowing just because others were,” another joked.
Others were more critical, saying many students might feel too nervous to make a strange noise out loud during a test.
“Sounds good except my son has anxiety that won’t allow him to do that,” one user wrote.
“My social anxiety said no thank you,” another added.
As Mrs. Shannon explained in a follow-up of her video, she also wrote in the instructions that students could type “meow” in the chat if they were too nervous to speak aloud. She added that some people had called her method “degrading” even though she specifically picked the word “meow” because her students know she loves cats.
“Please remember a 30 second video does not tell the whole story,” the teacher captioned her clip.
If you liked this story, check out this article about a teacher who went viral for explaining why she moved abroad.
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