@chemwithcorinne/TikTok @chemwithcorinne/TikTok

‘I can’t afford to replace it’: Teacher writes heartbreaking message to person who stole her calculator in viral TikTok

'There is a good ending to this story'


Stacy Fernandez

Internet Culture

Published Oct 31, 2021   Updated Nov 1, 2021, 9:57 am CDT

A teacher reached out to the internet for help after someone stole her costly calculator.

The then chemistry teacher posted this message to TikTok: “To the person who stole the calculator I’ve had since high school: Please return it. Have a friend drop it off or leave it by the door. My kids need new jackets and shoes, and I can’t afford to replace it. Thank you, Mrs. L.”

The note on the whiteboard was accompanied by several pictures of her young children.

The TikTok, which has gained more than 590,000 views since Oct. 14, was accompanied by the caption, “There is a good ending to this story, stay tuned.”

People in the comments section were overwhelmingly supportive. Several asked whether they could send her their own graphing calculators or money for a new calculator as well as the jacket and shoes for her kids.

“I’ll mail you mine that was a gift from my late father for the SAT. Please let me know,” wrote Ashley Timm.

“Do you have an Amazon wishlist for your classroom? I want to help,” @solojen asked.

Mrs. L responded to @solojen letting them know she recently resigned from her role as a chemistry teacher, according to her bio she pivoted to be a full-time “toddler mom.” The former teacher responded to several kind comments declining their donations but encouraging them to use their resources to help their local schools.

As promised, Mrs. L posted an update video.

In part two, the former chemistry teacher says that while she never got her calculator back nor knows who took it, she’s been overwhelmed by the response. It wasn’t just strangers who wanted to help, her students were asking whether they could put together a GoFundMe or replace the calculator with their own money.


Reply to @wornoutteach proof that there are 1000s of good people to make up for the bad #teachersoftiktok #pov

♬ Lazy Sunday – Official Sound Studio

But Mrs. L still received a surprise at her classroom doorstep—two coats in the exact right sizes for her toddlers. The teacher was visibly touched by the gesture.

“Proof that there are 1000s of good people to make up for the bad,” the video caption reads.

Mrs. L did not respond to an immediate request for comment via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Oct 31, 2021, 9:16 am CDT