The White House released the President’s speech that he’s going to deliver to our kids tomorrow. If you haven’t heard, the story has been all over conservative talk radio the past few days, and a lot of folks are all lathered up, some to the point of threatening to take their kids out of school. Taking them out of school is just stupid, but they are your kids, do as you will. Just be smart in your inquiries to your school teachers and administrators. Every little action you take, and especially every time you mess up, is being publicized very negatively these days. Like it or not, that’s just the way things are. Don’t give them any more material than necessary.
My take on the President’s speech: I’m not concerned. I never really was. I just wanted to know what was going to be said, so I could treat it the same way we did when they were going to teach “stranger danger” to my kids. Truth be told, I never expected his speech to go beyond “Work hard, stay in school, blah blah blah” Why would he go beyond that?? And so what if he did??? Shouldn’t you be discussing the school day with your kids anyway? Wouldn’t this be a good teachable time to talk about your differences with the President. I might agree that keeping your kids home from school would be a good idea if the mind control ray was going to beam through the TV and make them all march off to camp. But it’s not.
Other than the remark about the government’s responsibility to set high standards, I think the President’s speech is fine. It’s not really his job to set standards. It’s mine. But I understand that some kids don’t have good parents, so I think its fine for someone who has reached a significant level of achievement to dare our kids to do well in school. I don’t need him telling me to “work harder”, to do my best. I expect a lot from myself and my kids. If I don’t work hard or don’t put forth my best effort, I’m the one who should bear the consequences. Sometimes your best just isn’t good enough, and someone else should take your spot.
The President talks about the importance of school, working hard and second chances He also speaks of failure, responsibility, and challenges that we each face. I especially like the emphasis on not being afraid to fail. I run into that too many times in the corporate world. People play to “not fail”, and rarely to “win”. We need to go back to the days of being competitive, playing to win, and not everyone being a winner. That’s my opinion though. I’m sure some of you reading this can’t handle losing, and that’s why we’re all “winners”. Nope, sorry. That philosophy just makes us ALL losers.
But, just in case he decides to change up the speech and switch on the mind control ray…..
Seriously though, school is much more than the 3-R’s. It “should” be about an exchange of ideas, where people (kids and teachers) can freely debate them. And if your school is not like that, then you have the responsibility as a parent or guardian to get the situation fixed. And by fixed, I don’t mean sharing your exact views. I think Conservatives get too caught up in the idea that we don’t want people teaching our kids anything that is counter to our beliefs. There are things that I don’t want my kid’s to be taught in school, like values or morals. Those need to be left to my wife and I. If I don’t teach them those things, then I have failed. But if your kids never debate their ideas against those with an opposing viewpoint in an environment that “should” be friendly, how do you ever expect your children to do this when they are an adult when the environment that can be a lot more hostile?