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'I'm Here To Protect The School': Newark Art Teacher's Superhero TikToks Inspire Students Throughout Pandemic

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey teacher is saving the day -- quite literally.

During the height of the pandemic, he was having trouble getting kids to show up in virtual class, so he started a trend that made him a fulltime superhero.

His superpowers on TikTok are taking kids into the classroom.

Newark art teacher Tim Carr started the pandemic with barely anyone showing up to virtual class, until he remembered way back when in-person at Avon Elementary School, kids were getting distracted on their phones with this thing called TikTok.

The comic book aficionado decided to give it a try.

"I saw all the cosplayers and the transformations and I said, you know what, my students will love this because some of the stuff was related to some of the things they like," Carr told CBS2's Lisa Rozner.

A year later, he's acquired 20-plus costumes.

Through hundreds of TikTok transformations, attendance for his students Pre-K through 8, in-person and virtually, is at an all time high.

The catch? Show up to class and you get to see Carr's superhero TikTok of the day.

"He's my favorite teacher," second grade student Henry Avila said.

"Mr. Carr inspired me to go to school," second grade student Tyler Yise said.

"You could do a character just like him," second grade student Maki Beck said.

Even students are encouraged to dress up.

"He's been a great role model," eighth grade student Trevon Norris said.


The principal even turned into Wonder Woman to tell students last month they'd be welcome back in person.

"So we had some kids, you could get a pillow case and you could put it on your back and be a superhero also," Principal Charity Haygood said. "In this world when we don't control much, it's great to be able to be your own superhero."

Even Rozner gave it a shot, transforming into a ladybug for a TikTok video.

Soon, Carr will have students joining him.

"I want them to know this is your school and as I'm portraying the superhero, I'm here to protect the school until you come back, until we all can come together," he said.

So he may not be scaling tall buildings in real life; instead, he's changing children's live, something much more powerful.

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