South suburban teacher uses TikTok to boost student engagement, receives millions of views

A Chicago area teacher has found a unique way to connect with his students and improve their grades and attendance by using a social media platform.

A recent TikTok video of high school teacher Curtis Martin wearing some unique shoes with his students at Thornton Township High School received millions of views.

Martin who teaches ninth grade biology, has been at Thorton for 20 years. 

He said he sees how students can lose interest in class, so he began to wear his "big red boots" and film TikTok videos. Martin began to notice that his students thought it was cool and started coming to class more. 

"The behavior, the grades, everything has been better because they want to be on the videos," Martin said. 


Martin uses TikTok video in class as an incentive and as a way to relate to his students. He stated a continuous segment on his social media called "What are you rocking?" to get students talking. 

Sometimes, students can even wear the "big red boots." 

He hopes that the recent attention to his videos reaches different partnerships that can help give back to his community.