Monday, September 7, 2009

FYI - Link to Prepared Remarks for President Obama's Address to Students

Much has been said in the media about President Obama's speech to K - 12 school students across America tomorrow. My husband and I were initially concerned about the speech, having "Googled" and read the first draft of the instructions for teachers -- we were not pleased with the section where students, even K - 6 were going to be asked to write a letter on how they could help the president. Our concern was over the collection of the letters and redistribution "at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals." That seemed a little severe to us for our 3rd grade daughter, particularly when she is prone to anxiety... Fortunately, there was enough uproar about that specific item that the Department of Education drafted a new set of instructions for students, leaving that part out.

The other thing that had my husband and I concerned (along with countless other parents) was not knowing what exactly the speech was going to be about. My mother sent me a link to the President's prepared remarks and I was able to read that -- I thought I would pass it along to you, so that if you were interested you could read it over and discuss it with your child(ren) if they have any questions. All in all, I feel much better after reading it -- it has a few things that may concern my anxious 3rd grader (he refers to a young man who developed brain cancer at at young age, talks about his own history with his father leaving his family when he was 2, etc.) but then, frankly, my girl will probably be on edge slightly from the handwashing suggestion that he makes to prevent the flu! It is a very long speech -- I think that he makes a lot of good points, I don't know that all of the kids will hear them all, children's attention spans being what they are. He does reference "Harry Potter" and Michael Jordan, so that may get the kids' attention if he starts to lose them.

I'm glad that I was able to read it beforehand (thanks, Mom!) and I hope that my girl gets a little inspiration out of it, and I will be well prepared if she has any questions about it, or just wants to talk about it at dinner tomorrow night!

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