Surrey teacher’s birthday surprise gets 9 million likes on TikTok

A Surrey school teacher and his students have gone viral after a video they posted surprising him on his birthday got nine million likes on social media.

A Surrey school teacher and his students have gone viral after a video they posted surprising him on his birthday got nine million likes on social media.

Joshua Filiatrault, a P.E. teacher at Johnston Heights Secondary, thought two of his students were upset with each other.

“The students had kind of planned it out really well, they were already trying to yap at each other and like pretend like a pot was being stirred,” said Filiatrault.

The students had staged a fight in a classroom to lure their teacher in, only to surprise him with a birthday cake and shower him with confetti. The video shows him running into a classroom to break up a fight between two students, only to realize there was no fight.

“I was surprised at the event, but I was not surprised at their ability to pull something like that off because they’re all exceptional,” the teacher tells CityNews.

Filiatrault shares that he was rather relieved that it wasn’t a real fight.

“I really just didn’t want them to get in trouble for being in a fight, so my thinking was to stop it as early as possible so they wouldn’t do something they would regret,” said Filiatrault. “My feeling originally was relief, then maybe mild irritation that they got me.”

As for the millions of likes, Filiatrault says he’s maybe a little too old to care about that part of it, saying, “I don’t know how many myspace friends that equates to,” but he says he’s always telling his class the kind of impact and reach their ideas and actions can have.

“For them to be able to see stuff that they do and their ideas have a cultural impact,” he said. The teacher is just happy to see that his students had an amazing idea, saw it through, and watched it take off, all on their own.

“This group especially, they have really great ideas all the time. My goal is that if I can get any of those goals materialized, they start to see themselves as people who have impacts…they inspire me with the things that they say.”

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