Another day, another viral moment causing discourse on the timeline. On TikTok, a teacher who goes by the social handle @Qbthedon opened the floor for a discussion surrounding the development of students in school.
“We all know the world is behind globally because of the pandemic, but I don’t understand why they’re not stressing to y’all how bad it is,” he said in the video. “I teach seventh grade, and they are still performing on a fourth-grade level.”
The 7th grade mathematics teacher, whose last name is Bryant, garnered almost four million views, stirring up various conversations online.
“I felt as though this was a conversation or a topic that nobody was discussing,” Bryant told GU. “I came into the profession because I have a passion for teaching, but it seems my efforts were wasted. These babies are our future; this is something that we all need to be talking about and trying to find a solution to. How do we prevent the trickle-down effect? Where do we start?”
According to data from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the average U.S. public school student in grades 3-8 lost the equivalent of a half year of learning in math and a quarter of a year in reading.
“Now, usually I have a viral video here and there, but I never expected this video to span across multiple platforms and reach so many people,” he says. “I was surprised at how many teachers and retired teachers, even parents, stitched the video and chimed in.”
The video created a viral conversation about how students deserve better treatment inside and outside the classroom. In the digital age where social media has taken over, it’s essential to discuss the lack of effort placed upon children by teachers and parents.
“This disconnect between the students and their grade level happened well before the pandemic. Again, no one was talking about it, so it went unnoticed,” Bryant says. “However, the pandemic showed the immense gap and made the gap even larger. Now teachers are not only expecting to fill four-year gaps but also expected to stay on schedule with their curriculum; it’s stressful.”
Though some discourse has lost the plot online, the more significant issue is that neither students nor teachers receive the proper resources to progress. Along with the pandemic, many other problems are hindering students, such as a lack of help and an undevoted system to help students for the better.
“The community getting involved in the education of its youth. The system will take its time to address this problem or never address it at all,” Bryant says. “We as a community can step in and help each other to get these students back on track. Teachers and parents go hand in hand. Working together is the only way we can hope to see change for our youth.”
About Kenyatta: Clark Atlanta University and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.