Priscilla Wanjiku Karanja’s innovative use of dance and entertainment on TikTok redefines learning for students
In a world where the traditional boundaries of education are constantly shifting, Kenyan teacher Priscilla Wanjiku Karanja, popularly known as Teacher Cillah, has emerged as a trailblazer, revolutionizing the way students learn through the captivating power of dance and creativity.
The dedicated primary school teacher began her journey of educational innovation in 2019 when she first ventured into creating educational content on TikTok.
Through her ingenious use of short yet captivating TikTok videos, Priscilla makes her lessons fun.
Each video encapsulates key concepts through energetic dances.
“I believe that learning should be a joyful experience, something that children look forward to,” Priscilla says.
“Most of my students who are in primary school were introverted, they never used to participate in class activities, now they are not, TikTok provides a platform where I can engage with my students in a language they understand, the language of creativity and fun,” she adds.
Priscilla’s videos not only engage her students during scheduled lessons but also serve as educational tools cleverly disguised as entertainment.
Her passion for teaching and her commitment to seeing her students excel drive her every day.
She told Anadolu that she firmly believes that a happy student is a successful one, and her innovative teaching methods reflect this philosophy.
Unbeknownst to the viewers who are mostly young students, these seemingly effortless dance routines are well-crafted mechanisms designed to aid in memory retention and concept comprehension.
“I never thought I could enjoy learning so much,” confesses Mary, a seventh-grade student who is an avid follower of Priscilla’s TikTok account. “Her dances make me feel like I’m part of something bigger, like I’m dancing and learning with friends.”
Parents too are recognizing the transformative impact of Priscilla’s approach.
“My son used to be disinterested in studying,” says Patricia Njeri, a mother of two. “But now, he eagerly waits for Priscilla’s TikTok lessons. It’s amazing to see him learning and having fun simultaneously.”
Priscilla’s fascination with teaching began during her own childhood, when she found joy in helping her younger siblings with their studies.
This early experience ignited her passion for education and inspired her to pursue a career in teaching. She dedicated herself to her studies, earning a degree in education with a focus on lower primary education.
Upon completing her formal education, Priscilla embarked on her teaching career in a local primary school in Nairobi.
It was during her time as a classroom teacher that she realized the potential of technology and creative approaches to engage her students in a more profound way.
This realization led her to explore innovative teaching methods, eventually leading her to TikTok, where she discovered a unique platform to combine her love for education and creativity.
Taking students under her wing
In one of her recent heartwarming videos, Priscilla proudly shared the story of one of her students, Joshua.
Joshua had initially struggled to complete his homework and was known for being a bit mischievous in class.
Determined to make a difference, Priscilla took Joshua under her wing, offering personalized guidance and support.
Thanks to her dedication and mentorship, Joshua’s transformation was remarkable. He not only began finishing all his homework but also saw a significant improvement in his grades.
His fellow students recognized his leadership qualities, and some even suggested him as a potential class leader.
“Joshua’s journey represents the essence of teaching, the power to inspire change. It fills me with joy to witness his growth, not just as a student but also as a leader. Joshua embodies the spirit of learning and resilience that we strive to foster in all our students,” she said.
Priscilla’s connection with her students goes beyond the classroom, she values their feedback and cherishes the moments when they approach her for advice.
For her, teaching is not just a profession; it’s a calling, and the well-being and success of her students are at the core of her mission.
Onwards and upwards
Looking forward, Priscilla aims to expand her reach and collaborate with fellow educators to create a diverse range of educational content.
As Priscilla continues to dance her way into the hearts and minds of her students, she envisions a future where education is not only just about textbooks and exams, but also about igniting curiosity, fostering creativity, and inspiring a lifelong love for learning.