Middle School

This TikTok Perfectly Illustrates Why Teachers Are Overstimulated

This is why we need weighted blankets.

TikTok screenshots of Gabe Dannenbring's TikTok on why teachers are overstimulated

It’s always been nearly impossible to explain to a non-teacher what being a teacher is really like—especially explaining why teachers are overstimulated.

You can tell stories in person or on a podcast. Or you can write a book. You can take a screen shot of how many tabs your laptop has open. …

But it still just doesn’t quite communicate the day-to-day overwhelm that tends to happen for teachers.

That is, until Gabe Dannenbring.

Middle school teacher and content creator Gabe Dannenbring is an expert at boiling down realities of teaching into short, digestible, and hilarious videos. For example, take this one about what it’s like teaching middle school boys at the end of the year.


In one of his newest videos, Dannenbring manages to perfectly illustrate why teaching feels so overstimulating using the example of what it’s like trying to get class started. Over and over, his attempts are thwarted by interruptions we’re all familiar with. Though he teaches middle school, educators in any grade level will be able to relate.

Check out his TikTok below:

How spot-on is that? Here are just a handful of the things that stood out to us:

What we love about this TikTok:

  • The music: If teaching had a soundtrack, it would absolutely be jaunty music over scenes about the ways we might be flirting with an emotional meltdown.
  • The maddening dialogue surrounding “the board:” The ridiculous question “What are we doing today?” after just being told where to find the agenda is *chef’s kiss*.
  • “Yes, you can charge your Chromebook with the outlet that is literally right next to you.” Hahaha.
  • The relatable decline in civility. There’s an invisible line between teachers’ upbeat helpfulness and exasperated surrender. We see this line crossed in Dannenbring’s sudden “Just look at the board!” Beautiful.
  • He clearly has a sense of humor and love for his job despite the nonsense. Above all, we love how clear it is to anyone watching that Dannenbring loves his students. Though he’s poking fun at a reality of teaching, he does it with gentleness and affection (and with examples that clearly apply to a wide range of students).

What others are saying:

Most agree that Dannenbring totally nailed it.

Via Tiktok

However, others say he came close—but the chaos is actually worse in real life.

Via TikTok

Similarly, this teacher insisted that this feeling is even more intense with elementary-age kids. (We have documentation of this.)

Via TikTok

Another teacher pointed out an inevitable diversion in the middle school classroom:

Via TikTok

However, this comment takes the cake:

Via TikTok


Ah, such is the life of a teacher.

Are you constantly overstimulated? Check out these teachers sharing practical strategies and products they use to manage sensory overwhelm!

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Teachers are overstimulated. But how do we show what this is like to a non-teacher? Gabe Dannenbring has the perfect video.