+
Education

Watch these teachers tell their students why they're an inspiration.

They're the reason these teachers come to work every day.

school, teachers, students, influence, incentive
Photo from Pixabay

Teachers earn their own A's through this act of encouragement.

This article originally appeared on 10.06.16


Thinking back, I'm sure we can all recall having a tough day at school.

Maybe you got a bad grade on a test or weren't picked for a team you desperately wanted to be on. Or maybe there was a day (or days) where you just didn't feel like your presence at school mattered.

While you may no longer be in school, feeling unimportant can absolutely trickle back from time to time. I happened to be experiencing some of those feelings myself when I stumbled upon an amazing video by Jamie McSparin, a teacher at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.

McSparin recognized the students at her school go through tough times on occasion, and she wanted to do something to show them how important they are to their teachers.

So she gathered several other teachers at Oak Park together and asked them to pick one student and share why that student inspires them to come to work every day. On camera.

The teachers were a little apprehensive about doing it at first, but that was before they got these incredible reactions:

joy, kindness, teacher, student appreciation

A bright smile cultivated through a teacher's motivation.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

self esteem, education, investment, genius

Big smiles found when getting some good news from the teacher.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

happiness, effort, wisdom, education, positive

Some times it's surprising how much a little positive reinforcement takes someone.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

McSparin asked each teacher to record the experience. In order to catch the students off guard, the teachers looked up their schedules and momentarily pulled each student out of class.

"EVERY student we pulled from class thought they were in trouble," wrote McSparin in an email. Of course that's the natural reaction when a teacher takes you out of class, but once they realized what was going on, they were overcome with gratitude.

And the teachers didn't just choose overachievers. The students picked fell on a wide academic spectrum to show their abilities don't dictate their significance.

The initial goal of the "Oak Park Positivity Project" was to remind the teachers how much of an impact they have on their students, but it's obviously worked to bolster students' confidence as well.

school, insight, teaching, community

It's not rocket science that encouraging the future has value.

Photo via Tyler McSparin/YouTube.

Since the video launched, McSparin has received inspiring messages from educators across the country who are eager to bring the project into their schools.

And McSparin plans to keep the positivity going all year long. "Several students have approached me about things THEY want to do to keep it going," she said.

Everyone can have a tough day now and again, but movements like this prove there's always someone in your corner to gladly remind you how much you matter.

Check out the video project here:


Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less

Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

Keep ReadingShow less

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

We've got some adorable kids and inspiring grown-ups, some delightful dancing and sassy public servants, and even a cute quokka thrown in for funsies.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Life is full of precious and magical moments, from watching a baby take its first steps, to saying "I do," to witnessing an artist transcend in a way we've never experienced. These moments touch something deep inside us and etch themselves in our memories, enabling us to draw on their joy for years to come.

That's one of the coolest things about joy. Some might think of it as a fleeting feeling, but it's always there within us, ready to rise to the surface when it gets tickled.

Bringing out people's joy is one of the things we love doing at Upworthy, which is why we curate these collections of smile-worthy finds each week.

Keep ReadingShow less
Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

Keep ReadingShow less