Meet Monica Geldart: TikTok’s best teacher impersonator
Yep, she has worked in a school
The devil works hard, but Monica Geldart works harder. The 22-year-old has just hit 800k followers on the platform, and spends her week on TikTok showing the world exactly why teachers get six weeks holiday a year.
For those uninitiated, Monica Geldart has shot to fame over the last year with her scarily accurate teacher skits that take you right back to the classroom, whether you like it or not.
@monicageldartWhen the teacher pushes in the lunch queue. ##pov ##school ##student ##teacher ##fyp ##foryoupage ￼##fypシ♬ original sound – Monica Geldart
But who IS Monica Geldart behind all the “scuse me year 8!”s and the “MY netball girls”? We jumped on a call with her to find out what life is like as one of the most prolific content creators in the country.
And yes. She does get kinky, teacher-telling-off Cameo requests.
Hey Monica! So, what made you set up a TikTok?
Hey! So, the short answer is probably lockdown. TikTok was never something I was particularly interested in, I just always associated it with teenage girls doing dance routines. I can’t dance, so just thought… not the app for me. I worked in a high school and kids were always sneaking on TikTok. So when the schools shut last March and I was sent home I was so bored. So like everyone else, I just downloaded it to see what it was all about.
Did you know when you downloaded it that you’d end up creating?
Well, I trained in acting. And the more skits I watched I wondered if I could do something like that. At first, I was battling with myself that because I worked at a school and didn’t know if it was appropriate to put myself on the internet. I didn’t know how it would go, like, what if the kids were mean to me?! So I quit my job at the school and decided I’d just post whatever!
So, were you a teaching assistant or a full on teacher?
I was an arts technician. I was only meant to stay for a year but ended up staying for four! The job developed, I ended up doing loads of lesson cover and just kind of helping everyone out.
And is TikTok your full-time job now?
It is now, yeah! When I quit the school TikTok just wasn’t able to support me because I only had like 200k followers back then, which wasn’t really enough to get ads or anything like that. So I got an office job. It wasn’t great, but at the same time I was very grateful to be working during the pandemic. But now my platform has grown to the place it is now, and I quit my office job last month!
It feels so great when you can turn your passion into your full time job.
It’s mad, isn’t it? I used to drive to that office job and just spend hours staring out the window. But now I just feel so much happier.
That’s what it’s all about, really. So, how did you find out that you had a knack for doing the teacher impressions?
I saw people doing sketches and stuff captioned POV. I felt so old, I was like… what the hell is POV!? So once I learnt it meant point of view, I just had a think about what would be funny. I’ve been to school, worked in a school – I’ve seen that environment from both sides. So, decided to try and bring that to life. It’s so relatable for everybody.
Which of your teacher types has got the most views so far?
The PE teacher. She’s a big favourite.
@monicageldartThe PE teacher that’s only interested in the ‘popular sporty girls’ makes assembly announcement￼. ##pov ##school ##teacher ##fyp ##foryoupage ￼♬ original sound – Monica Geldart
“MY netball girls!” It’s so funny to think back at how elitist the school netball girl world was/still is!?
Completely! They thought they were untouchable. Literally the Plastics from Mean Girls.
Have any of your old teachers or colleagues at the school seen your videos?
Yeah! I don’t use it much, but I set up a Facebook page for my videos and a few of them have commented on it. It’s been such a good response from people, everyone’s taken it in good humour.
Yeah, I always wondered if any teachers took offence! I’m dying to know, though, has anyone ever come over to you in the street and demanded you tell them off!?
Oh my god, NO! But I have had some weird messages. I do personalised videos and someone DM’d me asking “do you do naughty ones?”
Oh my god!!! I knew someone would have a told off by Monica Geldart kink!
I know! My mum was like you’re going to get people saying “give me a spank!”
I got a message from one guy who was like “This is a message for a FRIEND but, will you do a video where you’re telling him off and giving him detention.”
Oh, sure. His FRIEND. The oldest trick in the book!
So, are the teacher characters based off someone specific or are they just a combination of so many that you’ve encountered?
They’re kind of based off my drama teacher who ended up being my line manager. She was so funny, she just used to make up horror stories all the time to scare the kids. Like, “don’t play near them steps! Last week a boy cracked his head open there and had to go to hospital!”
A lot of the little teacher mannerisms I do like the “girls, scuse me!” came from her.
My favourite video you’ve ever done is the one where you’re the teacher coming into another lesson to borrow someone. “Ooo is this your class, Miss?” It’s so golden. What’s your fave one you’ve ever made?
Mine’s that one too! I actually did that one in one take. I try not to do any videos more than four times, as I overanalyse them then. They’re funnier when they’re just improvised and natural. But yeah, the details in that one I think really resonated. That’s my video with the most views, too.
@monicageldartTeachers when they pop into the classroom. ##pov ￼##school ##teacher ##student ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ original sound – Monica Geldart
It’s so wild that we all went to school in different places up and down the country yet all manage to have experienced teachers talking with the exact same inflections and mannerisms. Why do you think that is?
It just really is true that teachers have their own language. They all say the same thing, you could write it as a script from memory!
When I started covering lessons, I found myself slipping in to saying them and I was just like… it’s happening!
You got sucked in!
I did! When you have a class of 28 kids and they’re all not listening, it gets to the point where you’re just like, d’you know what? I know why teachers all say this.
Is it getting harder to come up with new scenarios now you’ve been doing it for a while?
Sometimes it just really is. Some days I’m just stumped for stuff. You never want it to get boring. I have my ideas in my notes app and some days I just scroll through them doubting if any of them are even funny. But then other days, I just feel so creative and loads comes to me and I can build up my drafts ready to post.
I’m doing other characters. I’ve been doing a mum, and a girl that used to work at a bar.
I love that bar girl one, that’s so funny.
I love it! But yeah, I’m trying to branch out.
@monicageldartThe girl that used to work in a bar. ##pov ##comedy ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ original sound – Monica Geldart
Does it take a long time to record?
Not always! If I’m feeling creative I can get like four done a day and then get them ready to post even when I’m out with the girls on a Saturday or whatever. I used to do a lot of lip-syncs, like of iconic X Factor scenes and that kind of stuff. That took AGES.
I think people appreciate your content more when its your own jokes and writing.
What’s your favourite thing about TikTok?
I think what’s so special about TikTok for me is the opportunities that it’s given me. My ultimate goal is to act professionally, and I really see this as my way in. The industry is rock solid. The amount of 22-year-old blonde women in the country that all want to be acting? It’s so competitive. In all my training, we were always taught that a casting director is never going to knock on your door and offer you a role – it’s all about making a name for yourself and building your brand and just putting yourself out there.
And you know what? The support system on TikTok is so nice compared to other platforms. You’re always going to get some horrible comments, that’s just like, expected. But I actually think TikTok is a really positive space.
Yeah, I see a lot of TikTok creators are really quick to build each other up and support each other’s content. People don’t seem that competitive when they see other creators’ success?
Completely. Everyone feels excited for each other when something does well. There’s so many big names on there and everyone’s doing their own, unique thing. It’s just nice to see.
What kind of TikToks do you love watching from other people?
Any skits or sketches I just love. Anything funny. I love people who can take the piss out of themselves and not take themselves too seriously.
The humour in TikTok is what keeps it alive. Over the last year, all we’ve all needed is just somewhere to laugh.
Completely! It’s been such an awful year for so many, and having that place where you can just switch off and scroll is so important. It’s so important to laugh!
TikTok has just come on leaps and bounds in lockdown because everyone was so bored and needed somewhere to let off steam and creativity when they were stuck inside.
And finally, you said your ultimate goal is to act. In an ideal world, what would be next for Monica Geldart right now?
I’m not picky!
Honestly though, TV. I trained in screen acting. I enjoy doing something gritty but comedy is what I love doing the most. I’d love to do a sketch show. They never make them anymore!
OMG, they don’t! You’d be amazing at that. Monica Geldart is the 2021 Catherine Tate!
Yes! Victoria Wood, Catherine Tate… so funny and such a big inspiration.
It would be cool to see a load of TikTok actors who do skits come together and make a sketch show together as a little cast!
Oh my god, YES! That has to happen.
A production company should just commission that right now.