Lancer Spotlight 9/13/22: Teachers beginning to use social media to connect with students


Joseph Hawkins makes a variety of videos on his Tiktok.

by Kiefer Ely

The Covid pandemic forced many teachers to find new avenues to communicate and relate to their students. This led social studies teacher Joseph Hawkins to publicize his previously private TikTok in 2020, as a way to get his students interacting more often.

Speaking on his use of TikTok, Hawkins said, “Well actually, I was on it when it was… seven or eight years ago. I thought it was fun to do lipsyncing videos. I did it with my kids, they were in middle school at the time.”

Hawkins makes a variety of different types of videos on his page, including Crumbl Cookie reviews, funny opinions, and lipsyncing videos. He expresses interest in exploring other types of content in the future if he has a good idea.

“It all started with content related to schools and to sports teams that I coach,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins reports that students occasionally ask to create TikToks with him. Beyond the Covid pandemic, however, he believes his Tiktok venture has had very little impact on his classroom, especially not in any negative way. 

While Hawkins does continue to enjoy making videos and enjoys his students wanting to be involved, he has no particular plans to expand it in any way in the future; though, he also does not plan to stop creating content until there is a proper reason to do so. 

“I don’t plan on shutting down the account, unless something will change,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins’ cites his only struggle on Tiktok as being a lack of creativity, especially in relation to ideas that would be entertaining to his students. For this reason, he has slowed down on uploading videos for the time being but hopes to return to a more consistent schedule in the future.

“Coming up with ideas to make videos is difficult and takes a lot of time, more time than I have, especially things that are school related,” Hawkins said.