Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thanks Pres. Obama

Loved the speech!

L O V E D I T!

I had chills the entire 20 minutes.

And no, I wasn't cold.

It is about time that someone in charge hold the STUDENTS accountable instead of just punishing the teachers. NCLB (No child left behind) is the worst thing to have ever happened to teacher morale. And when teachers ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And then the learning just don't happen, because all the teachers care about any more is enforcing policy and teaching to the tests, instead of loving and teaching the children about things that really matter.

Anyway, I haven't paid close attention to why the republicans (and it seems like quite a few Mormons) are in such an uproar over this man. (And no, that is not an invitation for you to tell me everything he is doing wrong. I really don't want to know or need to worry about that on top of everything else in my life.)

But let it be said one more time that I believe his speech was awesome.

Some of my favorite parts:

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
and especially

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn.
Amen and Amen!


Grant Haws said...

I'm glad you posted...I was hoping I'd hear a teacher's perspective.

BigRedHammer said...

I am glad you posted that. I didn't get to hear the speech. I am inspired. I am impressed. Wow.

Kengo Biddles said...

I can't believe you're happy with all that socialistic indoctrination being spewed out! People taking responsibility for themselves! Unthinkable! Unconscionable! How can you say you felt chills when this man is so OBVIOUSLY trying to SUBVERT the minds of our CHILDREN! Telling them that they have to do their HOMEWORK!? Were my children school age, I would have made them picket the event!

Sorry -- had to play the crazy right-wingnut for half a second.

I see just how rabid and senseless the right is becoming and it makes me very, very fearful.

Alan said...

I may not agree with everything Mr. Obama advocates, just like I certainly didn't agree with everything Mr. McCain wanted. But on this one I think the President hit it out of the park, and I am amused and disgusted by those on the right who kicked up such a fuss over this "socialist indoctrination." Prejudiced idjuts.

Eternity said...

Thanks for a wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

I got a permission slip yesterday for my 4th grader to watch a rebroadcast of the speech sometime next week. I'm in the deep south. At least they are going to broadcast it. I wonder if she will be the only kid in the room?

Scott said...

Based on what I was hearing before the broadcast (and what I've been hearing for the last several months), I now expect every die-hard far-right republican parent (opposing anything President Obama says as a matter of principle) to encourage his/her children not to worry so much about homework and individual effort and goals and aspirations, but rather to expect that the institution and the teachers who represent it will shoulder the burden of their education and success.

... Come to think of it, isn't that what NCLB ("No Child Left Behind") was all about?

The silly thing is, no sane/rational person would disagree with Obama's statements on personal responsibility and effort, nor would any sane/rational person disagree with statements that Bush made regarding the need for teacher accountability or higher standards in education. But somehow when the obvious and practical finally make it through the political machine and get turned into policy, there's little that's obvious or practical left in them.

The good thing is, we still have teachers who manage to teach and students who manage to learn in spite of the tendency of politics to get in the way of it all.

j4k said...

you know, strawman doesn't even begin to describe the gross caricatures Americans are painting of the opposing viewpoints. Both on the left and the right we take every crack, nutjob and extremeist from the side that doesn't agree with us, amplify their outlandishness, and then paste it over our mental image of those who disagree with us.

it does bring comfort to know that teh reason those crazy libs or imbecilic conservatives don't agree with us, is because they function outside the realm of reason.

The problem is that isn't the case. As a die hard conservative, i've been exposed to the liberal viewpoint alot since I started dealing with my same gender attraction. Some of my dearest friends and I don't see eye to eye on nearly any political issue with, but I understand where they come from.

So this has kinda just boiled out as I was reading the comments on here. i realize it isn't entirely applicable, but until Americans start to realize that Liberals don't yearn for America's demise and conservatives didn't just move out of the cave last week, we will become more divided and our nation will become weaker