When was the last time you told someone they inspire you to go to work each morning?
Teachers at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri, did just that this September, when they pulled individual students out of class to tell them just how much they appreciated them.
The students’ reactions—which were captured on video and shared on YouTube in a now-viral video—ranged from shy thank yous to hugs and tears.
“I have been challenged to find a student who makes me want to come to school every day,” says one teacher in the video, “and that’s you.”
Jamie McSparin, a teacher in charge of the school’s academy program for at-risk sophomores and juniors, posed the challenge, writes ABC News.
“Initially when we pulled the kids out, they all thought they were in trouble,” McSparin told ABC News. “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 trouble maker or anything, they always thought they were in trouble,” she says.
McSparin says she got the idea for the project after attending a professional development workshop this summer called the power of positivity.
“I like the idea of letting students know they are appreciated, because we do appreciate them, I just don’t think we say it enough,” she told local news outlet WDAF-TV.
It’s safe to say the challenge was effective.
“I feel special,” said one of the boys in the video. “You should,” said his teacher. “You are special.”