LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Traditional Middle School students returning to class following the Thanksgiving holiday were surprised Monday morning with positive Post-It notes placed on their lockers by their teachers.

Sixth grade teacher Charity Howard says the idea was sparked by a video posted on Jefferson County Public Schools' website earlier this year that featured teachers thanking individual students.

"We wanted to come up with a way to thank all of our students at once," Howard said, adding that each of the school's teachers were tasked with writing about 30 personalized notes for each of their homeroom students. "And we thought the timing was good because no one wants to come back on Monday after Thanksgiving break, all the kids are tired. Hopefully it will brighten their day and help them have a good week."

The colorful notes, placed on the lockers of all 900 students at JCTMS, had sayings such as:

"Thanks for always trying your hardest"

"Your hard work and positive attitude have not gone unnoticed. Thank you."

"Your smile is contagious. Never stop smiling."

Seventh grader Hannah Whitmore was among many students who were caught off guard as they walked through the door early Monday morning.

"I liked seeing the lockers filled with color and everybody being welcomed into the school," Hannah said. 

Hannah's note reads: "There is no one else like you."

"It makes me feel special," she said with a big smile. 

Sixth-grade teacher Kim Broussard said last year her team posted similar notes on their students' lockers as part of the school's #BeNice campaign.

"With so much negativity in the world, it's always nice to have some positive interactions with our students," Broussard said.

Howard said she hopes the notes also inspire teachers.

"It's important for us to take a step back and think about how blessed we are and how great our kids are," she said.

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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