It’s officially back-to-school season. Whether kids are returning to remote instruction or in-person classes, they’re most likely going to be facing a new teacher. Parents are taking advantage of the back-to-school jitters in the latest TikTok trend — the “New Teacher Challenge.”
What Is the New Teacher Challenge?
In the challenge, parents set up a fake FaceTime call between their child and their “new teacher.” Instead of an image of their actual teacher, parents use a green screen sticker to insert a picture of whoever they want. They present the fake FaceTime call to their child, saying the person on the screen is their teacher for the upcoming school year.
In one video posted by @mamabear4love, she uses Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic as a stand-in for her son’s new teacher. As one would expect, her young one was left feeling pretty confused.
However, some parents are taking the challenge a bit further and inserting shocking mugshots to surprise their kids. One mother left her son speechless after introducing him to his “new teacher.”
Controversy Around the New Challenge
Like many TikTok challenges, this challenge isn’t going viral without facing criticism. TikTok users who are also teachers are speaking out to criticize the challenge. One user, @pachatzke, labeled the new trend as “cruel.”
The teacher explained how the pandemic is hitting young students, from experiencing grief for the first time to having their routines and sense of normalcy interrupted.
She acknowledged that while some of them are funny, she found two large problems in the challenge. First, it enforced the idea of kids judging others based on looks. Second, it could traumatize them as they are faced with a shocking image of their “new teacher.”
Regardless of what stance you take on the latest challenge on TikTok, there’s no denying its popularity. Currently, the “#newteacherchallenge” tag has over 20 million views combined. Watch a compilation of the challenge below.
The “New Teacher Challenge,” also known as the facetime prank on social media, is hitting controversy after an activist spoke against it. See why they’re speaking out in our latest article.