Who could be a more appropriate audience for the message to “stay in school and out of trouble” then returning students on their first day back in the classroom?
But when the person sharing this message is Barack Obama, our 44th president, parents and schools see red and fear their children will be exposed to “left-wing indoctrination.”
I feel the president’s message is one of encouragement and that he serves as a great role model for all students. If some politics do seep into his speech, this only creates a great opportunity for teachers, parents and students to engage in stimulating debates. Sparking interest in civic engagement can only be a positive thing for our youth. When voting is seen as a chore and the thought of politics brings nothing more than a yawn out of our children, pulling them into the mix will engage them and show the importance of this historic event.
But the ultimate goal of this speech should be to have children discuss the importance of education and what their responsibility is in their own educational experience.
In the text from the president’s speech, he says:
“Maybe you could be a good writer — maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper — but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class.”
And I welcome all interested in writing to contact The Stand. South Side students are all welcome to write or participate in other ways. The best start is to attend one of our next journalism workshops and then to just get started.
So, what is your opinion about the president’s speech? I’d love to hear everyone’s opinions and hope the South Side community will answer the following questions…
? Students — How will you take responsibility for your own education?
? Parents — In what ways are you responsible for your children’s education?
? Teachers — What will you do to inspire and motivate students?
Here’s the president’s video:
Also, I’d like to share an interview conducted by a fifth-grade student with the president discussing education taped earlier this year. Here the president gave a little preview about his talk held today.