Eighth-grade science teacher, Brandon Holeman, is warming hearts across the internet because of a TikTok video he made. In it, he tells a story about why he decided to allow a student to take a nap during class one morning (which isn’t something you typically hear about).
Yet, the Kentucky educator had a very good reason – and his powerful message is going viral.
Mr. Holeman’s video has been watched over 28.4 million times since he posted it on TikTok in February of 2020.
He begins by saying:
“I’ve said this on plenty of live streams, but never on a video. Sometimes the nicest thing a teacher can do for a student is let them come in, lay their head down, and go to sleep. Here’s a perfect example…”
The teacher then goes into a story about one of his students who seemed “visibly upset” at the beginning of class.
At first, Holeman tossed around the idea that “maybe he just hadn’t had his coffee.” But that wasn’t the case. The teacher learned the truth after another boy (who was a friend of the upset student) approached with a request.
“Hey, be easy on this guy today, his grandfather died last night.”
Mr. Holeman wanted to do something kindhearted for his student, who was obviously grieving.
He explains in the video:
“My first thought is why is he even here today. But my second thought is he’s here – so what can I do about it.”
The teacher came up with a way to quietly show how much he cared.
Once class began, Holeman started passing out tests to all of the students. He then went back to his desk and wrote a note to the kid.
Without saying a word, he walked back up to the boy and stuck the note onto his test. According to Mr. Holeman, it said something like:
“I’m sorry for your loss. I’m praying for you. You already have a 100 on this test, don’t even worry about it. Just turn it in.”
In the video, Mr. Holeman gives an explanation of why he wanted to share what happened that day.
“I don’t say that to brag, and I don’t say that to build myself up. I say that because sometimes as teachers our tests are not as important as a student’s personal life. And we all need to recognize that – students and teachers both.”
The Kentucky educator’s reasoning for sharing his story about the grieving student wasn’t for social media fame.
He told BuzzFeed:
“I almost deleted the video as soon as I posted it because I didn’t want people to think I was trying to use a student’s loss for views or likes. However, I’m so thankful that people have received the message and meaning behind the video.”
He had an interesting start on TikTok.
Mr. Holeman made his very first TikTok video after being challenged by a student to see who could gain the most followers over a weekend. Amazingly, the teacher ended up with 50K! He now has tons of videos and his total has reached 1.3 million followers.
There’s no doubt he’s an inspiration.
In his interview with BuzzFeed, Holeman shared:
“Teachers are professionals and we have to teach our content, and do it well. However, when an opportunity presents itself to make a difference in a student’s life, we have to take it … Teaching is my job and profession, but investing in students is my calling.”
Watch Mr. Holeman’s viral video for yourself below!
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@bcholemanThis is for all the teachers and students out there. Life can hit hard, and we all need some grace. ##teacher ##middleschool ##fyp ##foryou ##studyhacks♬ original sound – visionwise