DAVIE, Fla. – A Cuban-American of Scottish descent who grew up in Hialeah has been teaching for more than a decade. The innovator’s experiment to increase students’ engagement has proved beyond successful.
Natalie Stuart’s third-grade students at Nova Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School in Davie know how much she enjoys sharing a good dancing beat during her lessons. When one of them wanted to show her a fun dance on TikTok, she had an idea.
“I realized this was a platform made for me. It allowed me to express my creativity,” Stuart said.
Stuart, who had dreams of pursuing broadcast journalism as a kid and enjoys makeup, decided to incorporate a social media strategy to distance learning. And when her students returned to the classroom, she included them in her productions.
About two years after setting up her TikTok account, the innovative educator’s reach continues to go beyond her classroom. Her @nattiemeetsworld account has more than 298,000 followers. With more than 8.1 million likes, her engagement is extraordinary.
Her students are not the only ones enjoying her Happy Friday dance videos. Her colleagues recently gave her the school’s Teacher of the Year award. Angine Tyghter, the principal at Nova Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School, said she is proud of Stuart.
“It is more than cool! It’s inspiring,” Tyghter said.