Michigan teacher goes viral on TikTok after students’ sweet retirement

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It was an emotional outing from Northview High School for Sheridan Steelman, and the moment has since gone viral after being shared on TikTok.

The educator from Grand Rapids, Michigan started teaching at the school 50 years ago when she was 22.

“I thought it would be fun to hit the 50-year-old mark,” Steelman, 72, told TSWT News Digital from Italy, where she is on a two-year postponed vacation from COVID-19.

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Miss Steelman of Grand Rapids, Michigan is completing her last day as a teacher after 50 years. (TikTok/@katherinemanhattan)

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COVID also nearly derailed his plans to cross the 50-year mark. “Teaching has changed so much during this time,” she said.

But, Steelman decided, “if I was still having fun and the students were still getting a lot from me, I’d stay.” She was, and they were. So, on her last day of school, she asked her principal to drive her home.

“It made me feel like a million bucks.”

—Sheridan Steelman

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He did, but not before gathering teachers and students to line the halls. There were hugs and a few tears, as seen in the TikTok video posted by Steelman’s daughter, Katherine Steelman. The images have garnered over 6.1 million views since they were shared on June 1.

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“It was so nice to see my students, it was such a beautiful thing,” Steelman said. “It made me feel like a million bucks.”

She said she felt for teachers who have left the profession in recent years due to the pandemic who have not received the same kind of send-off.

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The video, Steelman said, is “a tribute to teaching.”

When asked what she would miss most, the literature teacher named her students as well as her colleagues “inspiring”.

“Every day we [my students and I] explored literature together and had a wonderful exchange back and forth. I will miss reading, writing and learning with them,” she said. “I will continue to learn, but it will be different.”

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