SEATTLE — The seats are empty. But school is very much in session.
"Whole new world for them," Mackenzie Adams said.
Like thousands of other teachers, Adams is providing remote learning for her at-home kindergarten students. She does it with an abundance of positive energy designed to reach through the screen to entertain and inspire these first-time learners.
"Big hand gestures. The games, the facial expressions, they all come into play when you’re on a computer."
Her classes look and sound like live theater.
"Enthusiasm about everything," she said.
"Go ahead and turn your microphones back to red for me!" Adams tells one group of kindergarteners while raising a small red sign to make her point.
Adams said, "The signs definitely have helped."
"Buckle yourself into the rhyming rollercoaster!" she shouts, and for a few seconds, she and her students are at an imaginary amusement park.
"Even though I feel like I look absolutely crazy, they seem to enjoy it," Adams said.
There’s something about Mackenzie’s teaching, or maybe everything, that’s caught the attention of the world. She posted one little TikTok video so her friends could see her work.
"Sneak peek into what teaching’s like online."
And the joy was contagious. The video has been played more than 11 million times.
"I was blown away."
Even the Today Show couldn’t wait to share it.
"It’s been super fun, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback," she said. "I’m just happy that teachers are hopefully getting a bit more recognition and the praise that they deserve."