Thursday, September 3, 2009

President to Address the Students

September 8, 2009 at Noon EST, President Obama plans to talk to students across America (that is, if the school's decide they want to be a part of this).

Here is the story

I have mixed feelings about this. I don't really have a problem with President Obama addressing children regarding their responsibility to do well in school, to set goals for their lives, and understand the challenges of their generation.

I, like others, do have an issue with the arrogance prevalent in the suggested activities for both grade groups. Things like: teachers should take quotes and excerpts from the President's speech and post them around the room; teachers should read about the President through his books and teach the class who he is; etc.

I do however, think some of the more general ideas and questions expressed in the activities are great for kids to be exploring. Things like: What are your strengths?; What do you think makes you successful as a student and as a person?; What ideas do we associate with the words "responsibility," "persistence," and "goals?". But do we need a speech from the President to start questions like these within the classroom?

I asked my youngest daughter's teacher today if they would be watching the speech and she didn't know anything about it. I did ask that if it comes up and they are to watch it (this is Pre-K) that I would like a note sent home telling me this.

I have a conference later with my 1st grader's teacher. I will ask the same of her. I will be going to the school and will be present during the speech if their school chooses to participate. I want to know what is said to my children, especially in this arena. I will be watching it at home if they choose not to show it as school. Can't help it; curiosity will kill this cat.

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