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Education & Information

Elementary school teacher demonstrates the power of empathizing with students

Elementary school teacher demonstrates the power of empathizing with students
via @mrmonroeandnala / TikTok

Josh Monroe has become one of the most popular educators on social media because of his unique TikTok videos that demonstrate how he supports his students' emotional well-being. The fifth-grade teacher at Bryan Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska first went mega-viral after posting a video demonstrating how he handles sleepy children in his classroom.

The video is unique because it's shot from the student's perspective. It was a response to another teacher who shared a video about how they rudely wake up tired students.

"I watched it and it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way," Monroe told Omaha.com. "So I created the same video but [showed] the way that I would react."



@mrmonroeandnala

Know the situation before you react #teachersoftiktok #pov #boostyourmood


Monroe's videos show that being a teacher isn't just about teaching the three Rs. It's about supporting the student as a whole person.

"In a time when teachers are criticized for nearly everything that we do, I think it's important we put out the awesome things we do and ways we help students as a whole," he said. "Not in the academic sense and just focusing on test scores, but how we help students be ready to inherit society."

However, Mr. Monroe doesn't do it all by himself. He has help from his dog Nala who provides emotional support for his students as well. "She's my dog, but she's there for the kids. She's there for emotional support for kids who are having a rough time or a rough day," he said.

A lot of Monroe's videos show how problems in the classroom are often symptoms of something happening in the child's life at home. So he urges his students to express their emotions and to work with him to find ways to correct their behavior, instead of simply issuing punishments.

He credits his approach to teaching to his wife.

"She's kind of the reason I changed a lot of the ways I've viewed things over the years by the way she approaches people," he said. "The way she looks for the good in people and loves people — that's what caused me and my life to change."

Here are some of Mr. Monroe's most popular videos. They're a great resource for teachers and a reminder for all of us to put compassion first.

Here's how to handle a child who's experiencing anxiety.


@mrmonroeandnala

Students need permission, not suppression, to feel big feelings #pov #teachersoftiktok #boostyourmood



Here are some strategies for helping kids with ADHD.


@mrmonroeandnala

We need to teach kids how to move and stay focused, not punish them for NEEDING movement #teachersoftiktok #pov #showyourtruecolors


How do you deal with a hungry student? Feed them.


@mrmonroeandnala

Food drawers are an awesome thing #pov #teachersoftiktok #TimeWarpScan

How do you deal with a disrespectful student?


@mrmonroeandnala

You can tell kids to stop in respectful ways that don’t embarrass them #POV #teachersoftiktok #ProblemSolved


What do you do when students are always late?


@mrmonroeandnala

Partnerships and trust are key #teachersoftiktok #momsoftiktok #foryou #parents #dadsoftiktok #l


Even when he's off work, he's still thinking about his class.


@mrmonroeandnala

Our job doesn’t end when the bell rings #teachersoftiktok #bettertogether #FindYourCore #fyp


The can opener story.


@mrmonroeandnala

Bless you kinder teachers ❤️ #teachersoftiktok #storytime #fyp


Nala enjoys her summer break.


@mrmonroeandnala

Reply to @rockyb842 it’s sparkling water, Karen 😏 #teachersoftiktok #NightDoneRight #besties #fypシ #dogsoftiktok

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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