Meet the N.J. teacher with 425K TikTok followers spreading positivity
FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. (CBS) -- Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been laser-focused on the popular social media app TikTok. There are concerns about its potential impacts on children and the Chinese government's access to American data.
But a high school teacher in South Jersey has gained fame and is spreading positivity on the app.
Dr. Jessica Hawk teaches advanced placement English to seniors and a film analysis class at Delsea Regional High School in Franklinville, New Jersey.
She also has 425,000 followers on TikTok and her videos have over 12 million views.
"I just thought it was a kid app," Hawk said. "And I had no idea what was going on, I thought it was immature."
First came the name.
"My TikTok name is 'Myteacherface,'" Hawk said. "Because when I was on Vine, I did six second videos doing this, and that's it."
Then after a little fine-tuning, came the subject matter.
"How can I pick out the sound and lip sync to them in a way that would make it fit with education, that teachers could relate to, that students could relate to?" Hawk said.
Sharing her experiences as a teacher resonated with other teachers, her primary audience, and students but sharing a deeply personal decision is what really got her page's attention.
"I am child free by choice, so I did a quick little to 'It's a Hard Knock Life' and I talked about all the things people would say to me as a child free woman," Hawk said.
Dr. Hawk watched last week's hearing on Capitol Hill in which a bipartisan group of congressman and women practically raked TikTok's CEO over the coals questioning him about his popular app.
Here's what Dr. Hawk had to say about it.
"I don't believe a lot of people asking the questions had every been on TikTok," she said. "I connect with people all over the world and get to watch people from cultures, from different backgrounds, what their daily lives are like."
For Dr. Hawk, critics are missing the real story.
"I love to know that I put positivity out in the world, and I've made things better for somebody else," Hawk said.
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