A Lake Stevens kindergarten teacher who suddenly became an unsuspecting TikTok star was featured in Wednesday’s inaugural special, “Celebrating America.”
Mackenzie Adams, whose videos have been viewed by millions, introduced the Foo Fighters during the primetime special that was hosted by Tom Hanks.
“Like many educators, my passion is engaging young minds, whether in the classroom or through a computer screen. I happened to go viral because of it,” said Adams, during the taped segment from Kerry Park in Seattle. “It’s been a difficult year for our students and I am so proud of all the teachers, parents and students who have adapted and made the best out of tough time.”
Wednesday’s program focused on unity and featured Americans who are helping the nation get through the pandemic.
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my facial expressions trying to keep kindergarteners engaged in online learning ##onlineschool ##fyp ##teacher♬ original sound - Mackenzie
“Was that really me?” said Adams, in an interview with KIRO 7 Wednesday. “It’s been a crazy, crazy experience.”
During the segment, Adams received a shoutout from Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters prior to the band’s performance.
“Mackenzie Adams reminds me of another outstanding teacher who holds a very special place in my heart,” said Grohl. “My mother Virginia.”
The Glenwood Elementary School teacher said she hopes her national recognition not only highlights the tireless work of educators during the pandemic but also inspires her young students.
“I also want them to remember these younger years of their life just being happy and excited about learning,” said Adams. “So to see their teacher all over, I think that hopefully I can become that light for them, ‘oh there’s my teacher, I love to read, I love school.’”
This school year marks the 24-year-old’s third year of teaching at Glenwood Elementary School. She posted the first video on Sept. 14. For Adams, it was a chance to see how she’s doing.
“I wanted to make sure I looked engaged enough, that I was interacting enough and keeping their attention. I’ll prop my phone up, take a quick video, watch it later and reflect on my teacher,” said Adams. She also posted it on TikTok. “Before I knew it, it had tons of views. It was very unexpected.”
So far it already has 11.2 million views. She has since posted three other videos, they are also wildly popular.
From holding up her hands to help children with math, to sounding out words while using exaggerated gestures, and rewarding students when they get the answer correct by acting out a rhyming rollercoaster ride--it is clear this teacher is right where she’s supposed to be.
Adams graduated from Snohomish High School and Central Washington University. Incredibly, she completed her master’s degree in learning and technology right before the pandemic.
The amount of energy it takes to keep the children engaged is exhausting, something Adams admits, with a smile.
“You’re on top of your game, full performance, for the three hours you’re on the computer screen with them, and then by the time it’s over you’re like ‘Is it naptime yet? Can we bring back naptime to kindergarten’?”, joked Adams.
While Adams is eager to get her student back in class when it is safe, she will continuing doing all she came to keep them focused and learning every minute in the meantime.
If you want to see Adams videos, her handle is @kenziiewenz on TikTok.
Cox Media Group