Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The President's Speech

I just read the transcript of President Obama's remarks for his Back To School Event. What an excellent speech! These are the same ideas that I and thousands of other teachers have been telling our students for years and years.

My hope is that parents will be listening to the speech along with their children. When I was teaching, so many students dropped out and in almost all cases, parents let them. Some parents were so uninvolved in their children's lives, they didn't even know their child wasn't attending. Some were ill and needed their children home to run the household. Others were out of work or unable to work and needed their children to have jobs to support the family. Some needed high school students at home to babysit for younger children. I remember one parent who actually pulled his daughter out of school in the 9th grade because he was going to have her work at his taxi cab business and decided she didn't need an education. I remember her being an exceptionally bright child and hope that when she got older, she pursued her education and her own dreams. These parents needed to understand that their children's first priority should be an education and that they, the parents, should be supporting that.

And that is what the President's speech is about: That regardless of what is going on in your life, you must be the best student you can be. Take responsibility for your own education, go to school, do your homework, learn what you need to learn even if it's hard. How can anyone argue with those values?

For a transcript of the speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

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