‘I am smart!’: Atlanta Teachers Have Students Say Positive Affirmations Before Entering Classroom

Teachers at an Atlanta elementary school hold a mirror up while students shout positive affirmations to themselves. "We teach in a pretty rough neighborhood . . . It's good to plant those seeds here."

In a video that recently went viral, fourth graders at Gideons Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia lined up to shout positive affirmations to themselves in a mirror while their teachers cheered them on. “I am smart!” “I am a good person!”

“The idea came from a practice that I do with myself and my 5-year-old daughter,” Neffiteria Acker, the teacher seen in the video holding the mirror, told TODAY. “When we’re on our way to school, I have her repeat affirmations to me, starting with, ‘I am.’ Usually I just ask her to tell me something good about herself. She’ll say, ‘I’m a fast eater,’ or, ‘I’m a fast runner.’ Then I’ll add to it: ‘You’re also really brave. So why don’t you say, “I’m brave.”‘

“It boosts my confidence. It boosts my confidence as a woman and a mother. So I figured, why not add that into the classroom?” she added.

Cierra Levay Broadway, the teacher who filmed and uploaded the video, said she was moved while watching the students shout their affirmations. “It was a really great moment,” she told TODAY. “I really got chills when I saw the kids and heard what they were saying for their affirmations. For a lot of them, it was their first time ever doing that.”

The teachers understand the importance of building self-confidence at a young age, especially for their students that may not have the opportunity at home.

“We get seeds planted in our minds and in our spirits every day and we don’t realize how we’re watering those seeds, and a lot of it is negative,” Acker said. “So planting a seed of self-love is the best seed to plant, and all me and Cierra have to do is water it.”

“We teach in a pretty rough neighborhood in Atlanta, and a lot of those kids don’t hear that at all,” Broadway said. “They hear a lot of negativity about themselves. … It’s good to plant those seeds here.”

Image source: Times Now