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Hands of Thanks: A Program that Shows Gratitude to Teachers

Elana Atlas, Staff Writer

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This November, the Spirit and Leadership Committee ran the second annual Hands of Thanks program.
The activity allowed students to express their gratitude toward the BMS staff. During homeroom periods in November, students of all grades were given at least one paper hand and asked to write thank you messages to adults in the school. Then, the hands were collected and put together to form the feathers of paper turkeys hung up in each pod.

“Giving thanks and actually recognizing the faculty around you is important,” said Anastasia Thumser, a 7th grader on the committee. Thumser explained that the goal of Hands of Thanks was to recognize every staff member.

When Natalie Bandura, a 7th grade colleague of Thumser’s on the committee, was asked whether she thought the program was effective in its goal, Bandura’s response was positive. “Some teachers have said that it’s their favorite day of the year.”

Some on the committee like Sarah Corneck felt a few of the notes were forced, and Mrs. Diane McCabe, the 8th grade Green Team leader and receiver of several hands of thanks, admitted that a part of her thought the gratitude was not genuine. Even so, she appreciated the hands.

“It’s sweet for us, as teachers, to get an acknowledgment.””

— Mrs. Diane McCabe

said Mrs. McCabe.

Upon being asked about how to improve the program for next year, Mrs. McCabe thought more time to write would be nice. The students could be given the hands at the beginning of the month and then have the option to write a thank you if they felt gratitude. That would still promote being grateful while eliminating the forced element of Hands of Thanks. It would give the kids more time to be genuine, instead of being forced to write a note in the ten minutes they had in homeroom.

Thumser agreed.“The only thing I would do differently would be to actually expand Hands of Thanks to more than one day.”

Overall, although the program seemed to be considered a success among the members of the Spirit and Leadership Council and teachers who received the hands.

“I find it very heartwarming to know that the kids actually care,” said Mrs. McCabe.

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Bedford Middle School's Scholastic News Source
Hands of Thanks: A Program that Shows Gratitude to Teachers