A viral TikTok video has made the rounds in recent days in which an exasperated teacher walked out of a classroom declaring her intention to quit her job, with bullying at the hands of students reportedly to blame, as the Daily Mail reports.
Though the educator involved has not been named, she had clearly had enough of the disrespect doled out to her by unruly pupils, as she was heard in the video to state, “I'm just a stupid old white lady.”
In the early portion of the events depicted by the video, students are heard laughing at the teacher as she begins to show her irritation.
“And people are laughing. I'm gonna go, I don't even care if I don't get paid today,” the teacher said. “Yeah, do whatever you want to do, I don't care. You're gonna do it anyway. I'm walking, I'm walking right out the door. I won't ever be back.”
Thereafter, a male voice is heard saying, “whoa, isn't no way” as the tension continues to escalate.
After the teacher gathers her belongings and begins to make her way past the desk, a female voice is heard instructing, “just come out,” while another staffer watches as the situation reaches its conclusion.
A number of TikTok users posted their reactions to the clip, with the person behind the handle @clayreels lamenting the societal conditions he believes led to the in-class meltdown, according to Distractify.com.
“Y'all be wondering why there's such a big teacher shortage. Like yes, it could be attributed to the low wages that they get paid, but it also has to do with the fact that these kids have no home training,” he opined.
Offering further insight into the dilemma, he added, “And I know exactly how this type of stuff goes down. A teacher may piss a student off and a student wants to make it a big deal.”
Suggesting that the problem of unruly students has grown more severe in recent years, the TikTok user noted, “And the kid or kids that start this know this. Now in the past, it usually never gets to the level of the teacher wanting to walk out, but I personally feel like since after COVID, kids have just had less home training than usual.”
Fellow users of the platform quickly weighed in on the video and on the take offered by @clayreels, with one poster called “Freddie” replying “As someone who has multiple friends and family members who are in the teaching profession, this is a PARENTING issue more than it is a student one.”
A user going simply by “T” heaped scorn on the students involved in driving the teacher away, saying, “They be acting like it's a flex like you ain't cool that's just sad.”
Poster “Ne'Badu” declared, “Parents aren't parenting anymore. The Internet is raising them!”
“Kylar Grim” summed up some of the factors that arguably converged to send the teacher out of the profession, perhaps permanently, by writing, “Low wage, low respect, high expectations, and high liability. It's got the worst aspects of all jobs.”
While many of those responding to the TikTok video pointed the finger of blame at parents, a contributor to the Cornell Healthcare Review referenced a number of scientific studies that yielded potentially alarming findings about the detrimental effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on the social development of children.
One study suggested that “the pandemic has disrupted the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children across the globe, with the potential to permanently affect this psychosocial development and the overall life chances, especially for already-vulnerable populations.”
The piece referenced the fact that “the pandemic-caused lack of peer-peer interactions has grim implications for school-aged children who are more influenced by and rely more on such interactions than extremely young children,” and the ripple effects could persist in classrooms for years.
Add to these considerations highly publicized instances of brutality inflicted on teachers by students, such as the violent assault perpetrated against a Florida teacher's aide last month, it is no surprise that, as Edweek notes, the status of the teaching profession has fallen to record lows, and growing numbers of teachers like the one in the TikTok video feel there is no compelling reason to continue.