On Aug. 31, Courtney White, who teaches English in Alvarado, shared a clip in which she is seen extending her hand as if she were meeting someone. A text overlay reads “You must be that teacher that doesn’t assign homework.”
White then shows her face as she lip syncs to Atlanta rapper OG Maco’s “U Guessed It.”
The TikTok has since received over 1.6 million views and nearly 15,000 comments.
“Having no homework motivates me to actually do the classwork,” one person wrote.
“You have just become my fav teacher in the whole wide world,” another added.
In an interview with Today, White admitted that she has never assigned homework during her four years of teaching in Alvarado. She also said she never expected to receive an overwhelming amount of feedback from fellow TikTok users.
“I honestly never thought my video would blow up,” she said. “No-homework policies aren’t new, they just aren’t talked about as much. I am in no way the first teacher to implement this in my classroom, so, when I made the video, I just thought it would be a silly video.”
While most of the comments on White’s TikTok have been positive, a few users have questioned whether the teacher’s method of not handing out homework is actually effective at all.
“Isn’t homework practice to make sure they’re actually learning?” one person asked.
In response, White uploaded another TikTok video defending her position, arguing that homework does not necessarily prove a student’s mastery of any given subject.
“Most of my students are high schoolers. They have jobs, they have FFA, they have sports, they’re in practice, they’re in band,” she explained. “They have other responsibilities outside of school. Some of them are going home and taking care of their younger siblings because their parents are at work. Some of them just need to go home and sleep. Some of them have to go home and worry about how they’re going to eat because there’s no food at their house. So, if I also give them hours of homework, when do they have time to be kids?”
The concept of homework has, in fact, been a hot topic among educators in recent years. Some research has shown that homework does not guarantee improved academic performance, though advocates argue that it builds strong study habits and allows parents to get an inside look at what is being taught in the classroom. Critics of homework have also claimed that it often leads to stress and anxiety among students, who are better off taking a break from learning.
“I have received some backlash from people who claim that I am coddling my students or not preparing them for college,” White told Today. “My response to that is simple, homework does not have true benefits if it is not being done properly. I have students that need additional support at home and if they don’t get their accommodations then the homework will not be beneficial for them.”
If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read about this kindergarten teacher who faced criticism over her “terrible” off-the-clock behavior.
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