Alumna shares classroom experiences, LGBTQ+ community awareness on TikTok
Both in her classroom and social media content, Jere Chang (M.Ed. ’99, M.Ed. ’05) strives to be the LGBTQ+ representation she didn’t have growing up.
A Double Dawg with degrees in college student affairs administration and TESOL and world language education, Chang wears many hats—gifted education teacher to students in 1-5 grade at a public charter school in Atlanta, content creator on TikTok, and wife and mother.
“There are different kinds of LGBTQ creators, and some are very out there protesting, marching, and they’re doing all the work and they’re fighting the big fight, and I’m so appreciative of those people,” Chang said. “My take is, I just live my life unapologetically—we’re going shopping, we’re going on bike rides.”
Hailing from Sugar Hill, Chang studied outdoor recreation and leisure studies from North Georgia College (now University of North Georgia) and began working as a residence life coordinator.
She then came to the University of Georgia to advance her career path, and after a stint in the Division of Academic Enhancement, she began teaching TESOL–teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Chang started posting content to her TikTok account, @mschanggifted, in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had no plans to grow her audience until it started happening organically.
Since then, she’s amassed 1.7 million followers.
“It was just kind of a dark time going on. I downloaded the app and just genuinely kind of started laughing. I saw a lot of really good content, fun content, educational content, and I thought ‘maybe I could be a part of this,’” Chang said.
Her content on TikTok includes classroom scenarios and daily life with her wife and two sons. Among her favorite videos to create are lunch pranks with her wife, as well as skits with Ms. White, an annoying character who interferes in other teachers’ workdays.
Only teachers who give their permission appear in videos, and Chang never posts videos with her students. She said her school has been supportive of her content and that it’s an inclusive environment.
“I talk about mom life, I drop my kid off at camp, the same kind of things that any mom is dealing with,” Chang said. “To just be the representation where my gayness is not necessarily the focal point, but I’m existing peacefully—I love giving that representation to folks.”
Although teaching, creating content, and being a wife and mother requires balance, Chang is passionate about all her roles.
“Although I enjoy being a content creator, teaching is my passion,” Chang said. “I love teaching, it’s what I do.”