Barack Obama addressed the students of America yesterday as they returned for the start of their school year. His message was about responsibility. The responsibility students have to their own learning, to themselves.
Today in my Yr 9 English class we watched part of Obama’s speech and looked at some of the text. I asked my students if they thought it should have been required viewing in all American classrooms. Pretty much all of them thought yes. They were very surprised to hear that there were some American schools that did not allow the broadcast to be shown. Take a look at some of the comments posted on the YouTube video from students about that.
Our discussion then moved to why some schools would hold that position. They talked about political influence, party politics and propaganda. We also talked about the effectiveness of Brarack Obama’s delivery and the genuineness some felt was evident in his speech. It was all very appropriate for an English class, but more importantly it was vital for them as citizens of our world. Quite a bit of our discussion focused on the importance of being well informed about world events. Which of course, brought us back to Obama’s speech and his message about responsibility for your own learning.
If you haven’t seen the video, take the time to watch it. Personally, I thought the message was an important one. It was about resilience and making the most of opportunities presented to you. A message that crosses borders and is as valid in this country as it is in the United States.
4 Replies to “Responsibility – Barack’s message for us all.”
Great post. Very frustrating as an American and a father to see so many parents complaining about their children seeing this speech in school…in fact some parents kept their kids home to make sure they didn’t watch it (and so they could play video games=brilliant). Great to read about your use of his speech in your classroom. What a wonderful way to stay abreast with current events and spark debate and discussion.
Just happened to stumble upon your blog. Will continue to follow. Thanks!
Thanks for your comment Kurt. Amazing, parents keeping kids home so they couldn’t watch the speech!
Yes I was astounded that some schools did not allow the video to be played. Did they think he was going to say something bad or detrimental to children? Hardly!
I think it is worth playing to my class for the message if nothing else- stay in school and make a success of yourself- no one else is going to do it for you.
Yes Allanah, that message rings true for all of us doesn’t it. Applicable for any country I would think.