KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students and teachers at Oak Park High School in the North Kansas City school district are spreading positivity.
One staff member came up with the idea and created a video that’s since gone viral, being viewed thousands of times.
Teachers at the high school pulled students out of class just to tell them how special they are.
The idea behind it is that we could all use a little more positivity in our lives.
“I thought I did something wrong. I never get called down for anything,” said one student, Jamien Bartlow.
“I was shocked. I didn’t think she would pick me,” added De’Asheaia Hollinger, another student.
Students didn’t know what to expect when they were randomly pulled from class to find a teacher waiting for them with a video camera.
“When we pulled them out of the classroom, a lot of students thought they were in trouble, or had to go do something, and I didn’t like that the initial reaction was negative,” sai a teacher, Jamie McSparin, who came up with the idea.
McSparin saw a video clip of teachers telling students positive things earlier this year, and wanted to do the same where she teaches.
“I got the idea from a professional development I went to this summer that was provided by the district. It was called the power of positivity, and it was just the idea behind positive thinking, and encouraging students to have positive thinking,” added McSparin. “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.”
So one by one, teachers were approached, and they got to choose a student to let them know how important they are to them.
“Last year, I lost my husband, and she was a student who came by every day to check on me,” said Heather Brennan, a teacher who participated in the video.
“I’m going to graduate, and after that nobody will really remember me, but Mrs. Brennan made me feel like I was somebody,” Bartlow said.
It was supposed to be a schoolwide pick-me-up, but that message quickly spread beyond the campus.
“The reaction I’ve been getting, random emails from people, random text messages, Facebook messages of people saying, ‘hey this is really cool, it made me tell a student this, it made me call my mom and tell her this,’ so we’ve had all these views, so even half those people do something positive they wouldn’t have before. That’s a lot of positivity that’s out there,” McSparin said.
“It really made me happy, because at least I have teachers who actually can pull a student out and tell them what they’re doing well in class, or that they inspire them to come to work every day,” Hollinger added.
It took about three weeks in September for McSparin to round up the teachers during their planning periods and get them on board.
She said it’s amazing to see the different students each teacher chose.
Watch the entire video below.