Deaf Janitor Left In Tears When Kindergarten Class Signed Happy Birthday Song Just For Him

kindergarten class signed happy birthday deaf janitor

A janitor’s work is never done. But when James Anthony got called down to a classroom, it was for a different reason. Since they couldn’t sing it to him, the kindergarten class signed the ‘Happy Birthday’ song as a very special and moving surprise for the deaf custodian!

What a precious moment! Hickerson Elementary custodian, James Anthony, got the surprise of a lifetime when the Kindergarten students signed a special message to him.

RELATED: Entire Neighborhood Comes Together To Sing The Happy Birthday Song To Neighbor Turning 98

WATCH: Kindergarten Class Signed ‘Happy Birthday’ To Deaf Janitor

Our Kindergarten classes learned how to sign Happy Birthday for Mr. James’ birthday today. He was so surprised! 💛🖤💛🖤

Posted by Hickerson Elementary on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

James Anthony, aka "Mr. James", is a fixture in this Tennessee school. He’s been working there for 15 years and in the district for 30 years!

Mr. James may be deaf. But that hasn’t stopped him from setting an incredible example for the kids, teaching them about good manners and being kind to one other. He’s made tons of friends and is known for stopping to teach the children sign language.

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And so, the young kindergarten classes knew they wanted to surprise their favorite school helper for his 60th birthday.

Kindergarten Class Plans A Special Surprise

With the help of teachers Mrs. Allyssa Hartsfield and Mrs. Amy Hershman, these eager kindergarteners learned how to sign "Happy Birthday." That way, they could sing to Mr. James and be a part of his celebration.

Kindergarten Class Signed 'Happy Birthday' Song For Deaf Custodian


The video taken by the school nurse, Angela Ridner, shows Mr. James walking into a room full of very excited students. The kindergarten class signed, and also sang "Happy Birthday", leaving the janitor completely stunned. Putting his hands up to his head, he begins to laugh in celebration. Mr. James showed that he was completely wowed by their special gift!

“His reaction was ecstatic,” kindergarten teacher Allyssa Hartsfield said. “He cried, and of course we got emotional with him. After it was over, he said, ‘This is the best birthday present you could’ve given me.'”

We're so glad that Hickerson Elementary shared this heartwarming video! What a bright spot in our day to see these wonderful children working so hard to be a blessing to someone else. Reading the comments on social media shows how much of an impact Mr. James has had on the children that have passed through his halls over the years.

"He was my basketball coach one year! Always a happy man! Such a joy to be around!" shares Paige York.

Lexie Davis wrote: "This just made my heart smile so big. Mr. James will always hold a special place in my childhood memories! He has such a big heart 💓"

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There is no doubt that Mr. James has touched many lives and is truly a mentor to these children. Well done, and Happy Birthday!