Former pre-K teacher hilariously warns parents to watch what they say around young ears
Kids say the darnedest things. And usually, those things are the stories you don’t want them sharing. It’s the Murphy’s law of having young children—as soon as you tell them a story stays in the house, EVERYONE will know about it. One former preschool teacher in Texas is hilariously chronicling tales from his former students on TikTok. So far, there are 69 videos, but given how popular they are, that number will continue to grow.
Mr. Hills, aka atxhills on TikTok, started the series last year, and I’m sure even he could not have anticipated just how successful it would be. What makes these videos funny is always Hills’ reaction to the truly off-the-wall stuff his students say to him.
I was able to talk to Mr. Hills on the phone, and it was a hilarious and enlightening.
When I talked to Hills, he explained that he was a preschool teacher for 18 years. On the encouragement of his sister and later, his wife, he wrote down all of the wild things his students said to him in notebooks (he has about 5). Initially, he planned on making one video, then five. He definitely didn’t think he’d be making 69 and counting. But the stories were just too funny to stop sharing.
In another video, he reveals that during a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” a female student told him he has a head like a “naked cat.” (Hills is bald, and his lack of hair comes up in several videos.)
As the videos progress, Hills starts to talk about certain students with more frequency—some of the stuff they talk about is a bit adult in nature. I asked Hills and he confirmed that many of his students were children of color and lived in lower income neighborhoods. Hills was the only Black male teacher, and as a result was often tasked with teaching some of the most difficult little ones. He did have several co-teachers who were usually older women. The Mrs. Martinez you hear him refer to in the videos is real, and has declined making a guest appearance on TikTok.
“I asked, can I get students who listen?” Hills said. He explained that his two years with the children who feature most prominently were two of the “most difficult” because most of them would just do their own thing.
In particular, there is one little boy named Gavin (Hills uses his middle name at the request of his mom who follows along and asked so she could keep track of the stories) who has a lot of videos made about him. And after a couple, you can understand why. Again, we don’t know much about his home life, but from Hills’ videos, you learn a lot about Gavin. For example, he has a gang called the “Knee High Killers,” among other things.
Another fan favorite is Bradley, a second grader Hills supervised in an after-school program. Bradley is white but he has a Black stepdad and, as a result, has some interesting takes on things. Hills is still in touch with him via TikTok, and Bradley (who is now 18) loves hearing his stories told. He even shares them with his friends.
Hills told me that he left teaching a few years ago to become a trained behavioral teacher and now works a couple of days at a new preschool. He also works with teens. Yes, he’s been taking notes for both and plans to share those videos as well.
While he never anticipated these videos taking off the way they did, he’s enjoying riding the wave and making videos while people are still interested.
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