Caption: Mr. Pyper currently has 520.4k followers on TikTok. Every day his followers increase as he continues to promote positive content. (Photo courtesy of Viviana Straniero)
Mason Pyper, also known as Mr. Pyper, is a TikTok star who lives in the Leesville Community. He is best recognized for the content he makes about being a gym teacher.
Pyper is a Health and PE teacher at Pine Hollow Middle School. He also coaches football and basketball there.
After graduating from Leesville Road High School in 2015, he went to college and decided he wanted to be a teacher. When he came back to Raleigh, he applied to Pine Hollow because a position was open.
Pyper started posting TikToks back in November. He joined TikTok to “see what it was about because everyone was going crazy over it,” he said. Originally he started posting TikToks for his friends and family.
After noticing other teachers posting TikToks, he decided to try posting content more specific to working as a gym teacher. “I thought it would be cool to maybe connect with my students or show them who I am outside of school,” said Pyper.
“I like to use the way that I’m creative to give people a chance to laugh, and to let my students know that I truly do care about them.”
“Not your typical teacher.” Mr. Pyper’s first TikTok that really took notice.
He didn’t expect his students to find his TikTok. The first time a student found his account was after one of his videos blew up. “Once one student found it, they all found it,” he said. “My students were all shocked and surprised,” Pyper said. He never expected this big of a following, so he was also as shocked and surprised as they were.
Mr. Pyper said his students will react to his account in three different ways. “They either think it is really cool, they don’t care, or they will acknowledge it and it is not a big deal to them,” he said.
“I think it’s cool to see my students really invested in my TikTok because I did start it to connect with them,” said Pyper.
Other teachers had the same type of reactions — they either don’t mind it or think it’s funny. “My coworkers have been really supportive, and another teacher asked if she could use me in a work problem, calculating my TikTok follower growth,” he said.
“I’m always here to help and encourage my students,” he said. This is an example of how Mr. Pyper jokes around with students.
When connecting his outside life and school life he said, “I try to keep the way I do things on TikTok the same way I do things in school”. There is no cursing or posting bad content. “I can’t ask my students to do one thing in school and then outside of school I’m doing the thing I told them not to do,” said Pyper.
The stereotypical idea of a PE teacher is negative, as students might feel more neglected or overlooked. Not only does Mr. Pyper make connections with his own students, but he has an alternate goal for his account: “I want to use my platform to break the stereotype of bad experiences with gym teachers.”
When it comes to changing the narrative of the common PE teacher, Mr. Pyper does a really good job. “I’m going to continue to inspire my students and let them know that I really do care,” he said.
“A true story and one of the most important days I’ve had as a teacher.” Mr. Pyper’s most popular TikTok, and his favorite.
It is not common to find a teacher as warmhearted as Mr. Pyper. At the end of the day, he says he “strives to make everyone around me feel loved and valued.”
Normally students see famous teachers on TikTok that are from other states. It is interesting to see a teacher in our community gain recognition, especially because most of his content is promoting fun and positive things.