Teachers and students build positivity by expressing gratitude


Courtesy of BSM Marketing Team

Throughout the month of November, BSM expresses gratitude to those who make a difference everyday in the community.

This past November, BSM took celebrating the month of thankfulness to new heights. In addition to pre-existing traditions, such as the school’s annual Thanksgiving prayer service, teachers and students were offered a new opportunity to recognize fellow members of the BSM community that they are thankful for.  

BSM sent out a Google Form to faculty and students that collected the name of nominees as well as a brief explanation of their choice. It was created as a simple way for respondents to take a step back from a seemingly overwhelming pile of negatives in the past few years (both globally and specific to BSM) and instead focus on what makes school at BSM an enjoyable experience: the faculty, staff, and students that everyone interacts with on a daily basis. “We wanted to focus on the people who are really making a difference to make this place a positive place…and we got an incredible response,” BSM Principal Stephanie Nitchals said.

Almost 700 responses were collected, including 102 teacher-teacher nominations, 206 teacher-student nominations, and 386 total student-teacher and student-student nominations. Nitchals attributes the form’s success to the fact that it actually made a tangible difference in people’s lives; they witnessed the effects that positive recognition can have on somebody. “Initially the response was kind of slow, but once people saw that [the nominations] were actually going to teachers and teachers were talking about them, and once students got them in their homeroom, that sort of energized them,” Nitchals said.

We wanted to focus on the people who are really making a difference to make this place a positive place…and we got an incredible response

— Stephanie Nitchals

In fact, the sheer amount and quality of responses made picking which ones to display to the school difficult. “Most of the submissions are really, really thoughtful. So to choose the ones that I put on the screen was actually challenging because there’s so many good ones. So I was really impressed at how well students took it seriously,” Nitchals said. 

Thanks to its popularity this year, Nitchals expects to continue the form into the future. If anything, it only has room to grow. “[Next year], I might get some students to give me some feedback on how we might take this to the next level,” Nitchals said.