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Mackenzie Adams is a kindergarten teacher in Lake Stevens. She shared a short video of her teaching class virtually that has gone viral on social media. (Image: Mackenzie Adams)
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Lake Stevens kindergarten teacher goes viral on TikTok

In these challenging times, many locals have stepped up to share their talents - and make things better for others. Refined has shared so many of these stories including the Bellevue teen who built a website to help local restaurants or the Issaquah native who created a food delivery service for at-risk individuals.

Because of the pandemic, back-to-school has been especially hard for students and teachers this year. Kindergarten teacher Mackenzie Adams recently shared a day-in-the-life of teaching kids on her TikTok (the video-sharing social media platform). That video has since gone viral, with total views topping 11 million! We chatted with her to get the scoop on the 60-second video that has hit home for so many.

Seattle Refined: Mackenzie Adams you’re a kindergarten teacher in Lake Stevens over at Glenwood Elementary. And you’re an accidental TikTok star right? How did this happen?
Mackenzie Adam: It was about a math lesson, so I was onscreen with the kiddos and we were making the number four. I just quickly posted that video in between lessons not thinking anything of it. And before I know it, it has tons of views and was going viral...and it was just a math lesson with my kiddos! So it was crazy to see.

What was the moment you figured out your video had gone viral?
My friend had texted me and she was like - 'Hey your video is going viral'. I didn’t even know what video she was talking about and then she sent me a screenshot of it and I was like 'No way - the teaching one?' I was just so in shock!

How many views has it had?
I posted it last week and the video now has over 11 million views. [It's] so mindblowing!

How many followers did you have on TikTok before you posted it and how many after?
I wanted to say I had like 12 [followers] before I posted this video and now I have 140,000. So it grew a lot!

How have videos like yours helped other teachers with distance learning?
I think we can all bounce ideas off each other. I got a lot of comments like - ‘Oh I need that mute and unmute paddle’ and I was like, 'Yeah - go for it I think it’s a great idea!'

Speaking of that mute and unmute paddle do you happen to have those handy?
Yes I do I have my mute and unmute and the kids love it! It’s so easy because sometimes I don’t even have to talk I can just be like ‘OH’ - and they’re like 'Oh - Okay'.

I think we can all use those in our daily lives with our ZOOM calls! You posted your video and you immediately got some national media attention - you appeared on a morning show and a bunch of other places too.
I got to interview Drew Barrymore with 'Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen'. And that was mind-blowing! 'Inside Edition' I did a quick interview with them, 'Entertainment Tonight'... it’s been it’s been amazing.

Why do you think your video has touched so many people and what are some of the comments you’ve seen?
I think is many people can relate to it - whether you’re a parent or a teacher or a student. The comments have been wonderful, very nice, and I think people are recognizing just how hard teachers are working.

What do you like better so far, teaching or TikTok-ing?
I would definitely say teaching. It’s my passion it’s definitely where my heart is at. The videos are fun. And letting people see that side of teaching is definitely fun. But I think I’ll stick with teaching.

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