Quitting with a Crowd: An Exploration of U.S. Teachers’ Resignation Stories on TikTok


This study explores teacher resignation stories on TikTok — "QuitToks" — to understand the messages that these viral videos send about the teaching profession during an unprecedented teacher shortage in the United States. I examine 36 popular QuitToks with viewership between 85,000 and 14 million. Drawing on frame analysis rooted in social movement theory, I argue that QuitToks are highly visible political performances with the potential to mobilize continued attrition. I demonstrate how QuitToks use collective action frames, which highlight deleterious effects of teaching on mental health and position resignation as a warranted response to mental health difficulties brought on by teaching. At a time of mass attrition and increasing digitization, this study contributes to theory about teacher turnover and social movements online.

Author Information
Melanie Muskin, Northwestern University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon