By Frances Wang

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A third-grade teacher in Davie went above and beyond to meet her students where they were, at home and on TikTok, to make sure they stayed engaged while learning virtually during the pandemic.

Natalie Stuart, who teaches at Nova Eisenhower Elementary School, has become a TikTok sensation with more than 200,000 followers, her videos have racked up tens of millions of views.

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“Never in a million years did I expect that to happen, but it did,” she said.

Stuart said it started after spending five months alone in her classroom while her students learned virtually from home. She said at one point they asked her to learn a popular TikTok dance.

“I said you know what, why not download the app and learn it from there and I did. After looking at few videos on Tik Tok I realized that it was not only a great platform for me to share what I do for a living but to share ideas with other teachers,” she said.

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For Stuart, it’s been an inspiring educator’s community and a way to engage with and create special connections with students who weren’t physically in the classroom.

“Having them on virtual was challenging, there was a sense of loneliness in a way, the pandemic brought a lot of sadness and I wasn’t really able to create bonds with my students the way I would normally do in person, so we had a lot of lost time,” she said.

“Her authenticity and lovable personality shined through the screen. In fact, Stuart was the first teacher with a full classroom when students were given the option to return.

This year, kids are starting in the classroom, Stuart has a whole new group and plans on making more videos.

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“I’m hopefully inspiring others and, you know, making them laugh, making them smile,” she said.

Frances Wang