LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Sofia Bella is a 3rd-grade teacher at Mater Academy Mountain Vista. She teaches a couple of dozen kids each day, but beyond the classroom, she’s using social media to show the world what a difference teaching can make.
Sofia has 2.9 million followers on TikTok with many of her videos garnering hundreds of thousands of likes. One of her popular videos shows her classroom decor, which is meant to make every one of her students feel comfortable.
“Because of everything that is going on now in the world, and since they’re so connected, like way more than I was when I was in 3rd grade, I know that they’re aware of like issues that are happening in the world. And I wanted them to just feel like whatever is going on outside, you’re OK in here. It doesn’t matter.,” said Sofia.
Sofia’s 3rd-graders can read books like "Pink is for Boys," "Hair Love" and "All Are Welcome." She says it’s not about politics, it’s about being inclusive.
“When you come to school, I want you to have this as your safe place. So, that's why I bring those books out because I do have boys that like pink, I do have girls with curly hair, and I want them to read books and see themselves and be like, 'Oh, I’m normal, you know? I’m just like everyone else,'" said Sofia.
Sofia says she’s using her platform to show future educators and students that school can be a positive experience.
“My goal was to inspire people, so I’m not only inspiring my kids. Now, I’m inspiring kids all over the world to love school and I’m inspiring people all over the world to become teachers, which is what we need. We need a lot of teachers who love what they do,” Sofia said.
This story was originally published by Kelsey McFarland at KTNV.