Mrs. Pearson has been retired for more than 12 years after teaching the same class in the same school for 38 years.
We all have that one teacher who left a mark on us and changed our lives for the better. For many kids in Chesterton, Indiana, it was a kindergarten teacher named Jan Pearson. It is very rare for many of us to even remember our kindergarten teacher but Mrs. Pearson was very different and her students carried with them the love she had for them. She taught at the same school for 38 years and had been a huge influence on the community. Having been retired for more than 12 years now, the former teacher got the surprise of her life as the last class of kindergarteners she taught graduated from high school and paid her a visit to thank her for all that she's done. The kids gave a heads up to Jan Pearson's daughter, Kim Hamilton, who caught the incident on camera. The video posted to TikTok went viral, garnering more than 3.1 million views and 625,000 likes.
Kim Hamilton's video showed Mrs. Pearson sitting in her garden along with her husband and her daughter. Mrs. Pearson is slightly confused as to why her daughter is filming her when she hears a knock on the fence. Her face lights up on seeing a young woman dressed in a graduation cap and gown. “Liz!” shouts Mrs. Pearson, recognizing her student. She jumps out of her chair. She then sees more students follow suit, and she realizes they were all from her last graduating class. She holds her chest as tears rush to her eyes. She remembers the names of all her students and hugs them all.
“Did you know this was happening!?" she asks her daughter who's still filming. "Oh my gosh, I love you all,” she tells them, choking back tears. She was so overwhelmed seeing them do well. “Oh my god, you’re all just gorgeous,” she said. Hamilton chimes in, “That’s your last graduating class, mama. That’s your last group of kindergarteners.” As her students line up beside each other in her garden, she tells them she wants a picture with all of them.
Kim Hamilton spoke to Viral Hog about the memorable moment. “A student from the graduating class of 2022 contacted me because she wanted to get a group of former students together to surprise her,” said Hamilton. “My mom's passion was her career and her job was everything to her. She made special memory books for each child that she bound and presented at the end of the year to each student. She truly was a one-of-a-kind teacher. She deserves this recognition,” she added.
People couldn't get enough of the video. "The best gift a teacher can receive is seeing her former students bloom," wrote one person. "Love her husband watching in the background.... so sweet," added another. "I am shocked that they remember her! I don’t remember any teachers I had before high school 😳," wrote another. "Love this! ❤ I teach kindergarten and only hope my students will remember me like this! She must have been extraordinary!" commented another person.