Teachers tell individual students how special they are in viral video
We’re warning you now; you’re going to want the tissues nearby when you watch this unbelievably inspiring video of teachers telling individual students that they’re the reason they come to school every day.
Wanting to build an unexpected, positive experience into students’ week a group of teachers at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri started their “Positivity Project” in which they told students how special they are one by one.
“I wanted to let you know that you inspire me to be a better teacher and you make me want to come to school every day, and I think you’re awesome so keep up the good work,” you hear teacher Jamie McSparin relay to her student at the opening of the video.
McSparin, who runs the school’s academy program for at-risk sophomore and juniors, said she asked her fellow educators to take the time to tell individual students just how important and appreciated they are to their teachers. “Last spring one of the teachers had students write gratitude letters to their teachers, so I figured, why can’t we flip that around?” McSparin told Good Morning America. “Because we really do, but a lot of times they don’t know that.”
We remember being pulled out of class and thinking, “oh no. What did I do?” That’s exactly how these students responded. “Initially when we pulled the kids out, they all thought they were in trouble,” McSparin explained. “The kids were all like, ‘Oh my gosh, did I not turn something in?’ and we’re like, ‘No, no, just stand there.’” She went on to share that “any teacher/student interaction always seems to be negative, and that was something that bothered me, too. No matter if they’re a good kid or a troublemaker or anything, they always thought they were in trouble.”
Obviously, this time they weren’t and instead they received news that everyone wants to hear: that they’re appreciated. You can see it on their faces as their teachers start speaking – relieved that they’re not in trouble, surprised at what they’re being told, and joy because they’re properly appreciated. Some were even moved to tears.
The positivity project took about three weeks, but McSparin recalled that the effort was well worth the reward. “It was a really good response and afterwards they were like, ‘That was a really good thing for me to do today,'” she said of the teachers. “Some teachers would come up to me two or three days later and say, ‘I’m having a bad day. Let’s do another video.'” AWWWW. I’m not crying; you’re crying.
The Oak Park High School staff watched the video together and decided to share it online in the hopes that it’ll inspire other educators to take the time to build strong relationships with their students. We’re pretty that’s exactly what’ll happen since the video’s going viral and has been shared almost 200,000 times on Facebook alone.
“I think the takeaway is just to be positive on all occasions,” McSparin shared. “Smile at people and tell them they’re doing a good job.”