An elementary school teacher is doing something special to help boost her students’ confidence. Neffiteria Acker, who teaches math and science at Gideons Elementary School in Atlanta, starts off her morning classes by having students speak words of affirmation into a mirror. A viral video of Acker’s heartwarming classroom routine has gone viral online with people viewing and resharing the video over 4000 times. In the video, you can hear one student say “I’m smart!” while another student shouts to the mirror, “I’m a good person!”
“The best part about doing the affirmations is the feeling after I say them,” Acker told CNN. “And the feeling I see my students feel or that they express after they do them. Their attitude is better, their self-confidence is lifted and we have a better day.”
Even when the students don’t have much to say, Acker provides her kids with flashcards filled with positive messages. The busy educator says she’s astonished by how much her students’ confidence has grown since they began the practice.
“I wanted the mirror to be so that they’re only looking at themselves — nothing else,” she says. “My goal was I want you to love yourself, the whole you — not just your hair.”
Dr. Marcuetta Sims, a psychologist and founder of The Worth, Wisdom and Wellness Center in Atlanta says Acker’s classroom routine could help her students establish long-term self-confidence and positive self-esteem.
“Our words hold so much power and when these words are being internalized by children who are still in the process of developing their sense of self, those words carry even more weight,” Sims explained. “The way we speak to children is the way they learn how to speak to themselves. It’s how they develop their self-talk, which influences their behaviors and the choices they make in life.”