(WGHP) — Not everyone is willing to give up the job they dreamed of since they were 10 years old just three years into the gig. But Rebecca Rogers doesn’t feel as if she’s really left teaching.
“I just feel like I’ve kind of gone from having 100 students a semester to having three-and-a-half million of them all the time,” she said.
Rogers taught high school social studies. In her second year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Suddenly, she had to teach remotely, and the students were quickly feeling disconnected from it all. So she decided to meet them where they lived. So many of her students were on what was in early 2020 a new social media platform called TikTok. She posted a video that people seemed to like then another. After six months of this, she had a million followers.
She does them under the moniker Mrs. Rogers. You can also find her as rrogersworld. She does a lot of teaching-based videos which are almost always based on real incidents or just dramatizes some incident that happened in a fun way.
“And now I have teachers that send me stories on a daily basis asking me to tell stories. Some are really funny. Some aren’t funny at all, and it just kind of exploded really quickly,” Rebecca said about the videos that resonate beyond the school world. “I get a lot of messages from people saying, ‘I’m not a teacher. I’ve never been a teacher. I don’t know teachers, but watching your videos has really shown me what some teachers have to deal with all the time.”
Rebecca says she gets some of her inspiration from another much bigger celebrity.
“Taylor Swift…I’ve always loved her since I was a kid. But sometimes she just says stuff that speaks to me..in one interview she said, ‘If boys don’t want me to write bad songs about them then they shouldn’t do bad things.’ And I feel that because I get so many people that get angry when I portray either admin or teachers or parents who act the way that they probably should act,” Rebecca said.
But there are things happening in far too many schools these days that don’t lend themselves to humor. The mass shootings we’ve seen are not lost on Rebecca. In fact, she had what she calls a Code Red at her school a year or so ago. It turned out to not be a real incident. For a while, Rebecca and the other teachers had to prepare for if it might be.
“I just remember pulling kids into my classroom. I shared a room with another colleague, and I told her, ‘Grab the fire extinguisher, and if they come in, just spray the crap out of them.’ I grabbed those giant scissor shears – I felt like Wolverine for a second – and I just had to sit there and prepare myself. And if someone opened those doors, I would do whatever it took to protect those kids,” she said.
Fortunately, that was a false alarm. But her new social media career is very real. She’s on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. And she says she didn’t need any special breaks to create her brand.
See some of her videos in this Social Media Stars edition of The Buckley Report.