Fifth-graders in Sherrod Rockmore’s class get a daily dose of motivation, and now they’re hoping to spread it around the world.
Each day, the Union Elementary students recite a classroom pledge. By the end of it, they are on their feet, pounding their fists in the air or on their desks — and ready to conquer the day.
“I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve the education that I get here.”
Rockmore, who’s been at Union Elementary since he started teaching four years ago, heard the quote during a 2013 TED Talks video by educator Rita Pierson. The words show students that education can take them wherever they want to go and help them become anything they want to be, he said.
“The goal is for them to say that enough to where they start to believe it,” Rockmore said. “They do believe in it. They bring that passion in it.”
Some students were shy at first, but now all of them really get into the routine and remind Rockmore about it if he forgets. The fifth-graders asked him to film a video of them saying the quote in hopes it would go viral and inspire others.
Rockmore posted the video on Facebook on Aug. 2, and it had been shared 120 times by Friday afternoon, from people in Kentucky to Texas to the Virgin Islands. He hopes people will continue to share the video and give his students positive feedback.
It’s a great way to bring positivity to the classroom and throughout the Bibb County district, he said.
Principal LaLisa Burston said the students have been so enthusiastic about the daily activity, and it has helped create a great atmosphere at the school.
“I think it’s really important that our kids have a deep understanding of self-esteem so that they can develop into productive citizens,” she said. “This is where you lay the foundation.”