NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — From TikTok to inside a classroom, Kristie Keidel, a sixth-grade teacher at North Tonawanda Intermediate School is turning heads.
"I love to dance. I love to rap. I love to sing. So I just started, during the pandemic. That's when I did my first TikTok. And I started dancing and I used some of my math raps. I decided to put them up there for other teachers," Keidel said.
So here's how it works, with the help of her raps, her students figure out how to solve math problems.
Keidel said she was inspired by her grandfather.
"Growing up, he called us the 'apple of his eye' me and my cousin. He wrote many, many poems. And I think that I got it from him. I write a lot of poems, rhymes, raps. And he would be proud looking down on me that this video actually went viral and my songs are out there for other people to use. That's all I ever wanted," she said.
She's talking about her TikTok video, which now has over 20 million views.
"Just for doing a rap into my class, and I've done millions of songs. I have kids that are seniors now who are commenting that still remember that rap. So, it's pretty great when you see a lot of the kids and the community, remembering the song that I did years ago," she said.
"So she creates all of her songs. She'll message me, 'Does this make sense? Is this catchy?' She has a passion for teaching and making sure the kids understand the material. Everything she does sticks with these students. She will leave a legacy in this school," Keidel's co-worker, Julia Helfman, said.
"Every time I walk in the class, I come in and wonder, 'What is she going to do next?' She is the reason I like to be in school," one of her students said.
"Not only are the songs good, but they also help us learn," another student said.
"Honestly, I never really liked math. I always find it difficult, but Ms. Keidel made math really easy for me."
Keidel plans to continue to do what she does, simply because she loves it.
"I get to bring that excitement to the kids and watch them while they are learning, have the excitement to remember this stuff for years to come, hopefully. I have always said, if can't impact a kid, I hope someone down the road can," she said.
You check out Ms. Keidel's TikTok page: @khemps10