Education

Meet the Principals of TikTok

By Lesli A. Maxwell — July 02, 2020 2 min read

Principals on TikTok?! Yes, TikTok.

Why is EdWeek writing about this? Because it’s fun. And it’s a tiny break from all the heaviness we’re shouldering. (Programming note: Prepare for an overuse of parentheticals in this post.)

This isn’t an EdWeek-style explainer on why principals are on TikTok or the bigger meaning of millenials, Gen Xers, and maybe some boomers infiltrating a platform dominated by pre-teens and teens.

Nope, it’s just a simple list of some school leaders who’ve embraced the wildly popular video app filled with 60-second dances, lip syncs, and comedy bits.

The #principalsoftiktok I’ve now spent several hours watching are entertaining, hilarious, creative, and passionate. (Special props to colleagues Stacey Decker and Maeve Sheridan for their help in finding some of these gems.)

See it for yourselves. Here’s my list of stand-out creators.

The Most Followed (and Prolific) Principal (in an unscientific search)

That’s @drzeisner. She posts her daily intentions—including the all-important “you will pee today"—that get upended by the mundane, absurd happenings at school. And when her administrative assistant appears, hilarity ensues.

@drzeisner ##principalsoftiktok ##teachersoftiktok ##fyp ##peebreak ##lennie ♬ original sound - drzeisner

The Principal With the Best Moves

That’s principaldiaries—the dopest dancer in the #principalsoftiktok community—who professes her love of middle school.

@principaldiaries My college clubbing days & current ##clubquarantine ##danceismytherapy ##destinyschild ##belairathletics @luismcervantes_ ##principalsoftiktok ♬ Jumpin Jumpin Destinys Child Nick Henton Mix - luismcervantes_

The Principal Who Gives You All the Feels

For me, that’s @mrsappiahmcnulty, who confronts sexism, racism, and celebrates the brilliance and joy of her children.

@mrsappiahmcnulty When they ask for the Principal and don't know they are looking at HER...##principalsoffice ##principalsoftiktok ##foryoupage ##trend##JMP♍️ ##whoishe ♬ original sound - mrsappiahmcnulty

The Most Passionate Advocate for Bilingualism

That’s @josemedina1000, a former principal who now consults on linguistic diversity and cultural competency in education and a proud, fluent speaker of Spanglish, challenges educators to dismantle systems of oppression. His spoof of teachers partying at an out-of-town conference...just watch it.

@josemedina1000 You're White & speak Spanish? Great. Communities of Color are ##bilingual their entire lives & it's not about likes & followers. ##learnontiktok ##fyp ♬ original sound - josemedina1000

The Best Demonstrator of COVID-19 Cleaning Protocols

That’s @principalmansur, who also posts a lot about the give and take of a modern marriage.

@principalmansur Did I do this challenge right? ##wipeitdown ##maincharacter ##wipeitdownchallenge ##xyzbca ##trending ##principalsoftiktok ##principalsinaction ♬ original sound - thatredactedguy

The Principal With the Most (Pop) Cultured Students

That could be @hawkeyeoftexas, who has an elementary student speaking their mind on burning issues of our time: “Don’t drink bleach. Carol Baskin killed her huzzband.”

@hawkeyeoftexas Kids write the darndest things! Shout out to Avery! We do need a new president! ##vote ##fyp ##foryou ♬ original sound - hawkeyeoftexas

The Principal Obsessed With Sticky Notes

That’s definitely @peletonprincipal, who has contributed to a thriving subgenre of videos on #stickynotes.

@pelotonprincipal ##educatorsoftiktok ##principalsoftiktok ##educatorhacks ##stickynotes Affinity Diagrams ♬ original sound - pelotonprincipal

Image: @principaldiaries via TikTok


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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.