What Obama Will Say

Last night, we received one of those automatic phone calls from our community’s School Superintendent, informing us that she is asking principals to show President Obama’s speech tomorrow. At the school where I teach, we are planning the same thing and my principal sent home a letter on Friday, alerting families.

This whole thing is crazy but it makes sense: when we showed our sixth graders the presidential inauguration, we got an angry phone call from a parent who was passionately opposed to his son watching with the event in school.

I know politics is alive and well, but to complain when the president wants to talk to kids about staying in school, show respect to teachers and other kids, and also to study hard for a better life — that seems absurd to me. I would not have complained if my kids watched a Republican Rightwinger President talk about those things.

My aim is to grab the text of the speech, pop it into Wordle and have my students examine themes and phrases that Obama uses, so that we can talk about rhetoric. Talk about a learning experience, right?

On Friday, I showed this interview with my students and they were impressed by the student reporter and by the president’s responses.


Peace (in the message),
Kevin

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  1. There was a palpable excitement back in January when we watched the Inauguration in school. It will be wonderful to see how this speech plays out as well. Will teachers take the message into the personal learning areas students need? Will the students feel a real connection with the message? Will the use of tech and the invitation to reply using tech happen across the country and in our own schools? I hope so.

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