Taking advantage of the lockdown, the French teacher Marie-Solène Letoqueux became a YouTube star.
Letoqueux is a kindergarten teacher in a small town in Brittany.
She burst into the social media limelight during the first lockdown in France to ensure the continuity of their students’ education during the pandemic.
She first created a YouTube show that won her accolades and thousands of followers and, eventually, numerous awards.
Letoqueux was celebrated as a “YouTube star” and a “queen among teachers.”
“I figured I’d be able to take care of my little girl, who was only 4 months old at the time,” says the 34-year-old teacher in Luitré-Dompierre, a town of 2,000 near Fougères.
“But my husband quickly understood that I couldn’t stand not working for long, that I would go stir crazy. So he suggested that I continue to teach via YouTube.”
“No one expected this, but the reactions were enthusiastic,” Letoqueux recalls. “I received a lot of encouragement from my parents, my principal and my colleagues.”
“I wasn’t really very comfortable during the first episodes,” Letoqueux says. “But I improved, thanks to feedback from the parents. I became more theatrical, and I learned to adapt to the constraints. For example, I realised I had to give students more time to think and respond since it was all about teaching.”
The media were also inspired. “I was invited to interview after interview. At first, I stammered – I wasn’t particularly comfortable with it,” she says. After a while, strangers recognised her in the street.
“It’s pretty fun. But what pleased me the most about the whole story is seeing all this mutual help springing up around the project. The show also allowed me to progress in my profession, to learn new teaching methods, to grow more comfortable with the students.”