Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Did Anyone Ask Your Permission?

President Obama’s Address to Students Across America September 8, 2009!

Is it not enough that he's on television every week or conducting a town hall meeting in the US... or making an appearance on foreign networks while he apologizes to other countries on our behalf? Now he wants to brainwash our children. This smacks of the gestapo. I've never witnessed a more narcissistic personality in my life.

I cannot tell you how opposed I am to this plan. Religion is not allowed in the schools... we've removed God from the Pledge, so why is it okay to discuss politics? Should we be exposing our children to the viewpoints of a president who has fallen from the favor of the voting public?

A great many youngsters have witnessed their parents painting signs for tea parties and town hall meetings--signs that protest the very things that are happening under this president's leadership. What gives him the right to pump their heads with his propaganda without the permission of the parents? I'm sure most kids have overheard disgruntled people speaking about the outright atrocities being planned and instrumented by the current administration. I say, politics have no place in the classroom. If you agree, speak up! Here is the suggested "itinerary" for this grand appearance by the Head Czar!

PreK-6 Menu of Classroom Activities:
President Obama’s Address to Students Across America
Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education September 8, 2009

Before the Speech:

Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama and motivate students by asking the following questions: Who is the President of the United States? What do you think it takes to be President? To whom do you think the President is going to be speaking? Why do you think he wants to speak to you? What do you think he will say to you?

Teachers can ask students to imagine being the President delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States. What would you tell students? What can students do to help in our schools? Teachers can chart ideas about what they would say.

Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?

During the Speech:

As the President speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a Cluster Web, or students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children can draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following: What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do? What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?

Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

Students can record any questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech. Younger children may need to dictate their questions.

After the Speech:

Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes or stick notes on a butcher paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, i.e. citizenship, personal responsibility, civic duty.

Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: What do you think the President wants us to do? Does the speech make you want to do anything? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the President?

Teachers could encourage students to participate in the Department of Education’s “I Am What I Learn” video contest.

On September 8 the Department will invite K-12 students to submit
video no longer than 2 min, explaining why education is important and how their education will help them achieve their dreams. Teachers are welcome to incorporate the same or a similar video project into an assignment. More details will be released via www.ed.gov.

Extension of the Speech: Teachers can extend learning by having students:

Create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants or puzzle pieces or trails marked with the labels: personal, academic, community, country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in those areas. It might make sense to focus on personal and academic so community and country goals come more readily.

Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.

Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.

Interview and share about their goals with one another to create a supportive community.

Participate in School wide incentive programs or contests for students who achieve their goals.

Write about their goals in a variety of genres, i.e. poems, songs, personal essays.

Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.

Graph student progress toward goals.

My final comment: With regard to this question: Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?

I wonder if it shouldn't be altered to say, Why is it important for the president and congress to listen to the people who elected them--solicit their opinions before acting in haste. Shouldn't those who take an oath to act in the best interest of their constituents honor it?

Just because someone becomes an elected official, that doesn't mean they are above reproach. Count the number of tax cheats in Washington, and ask what happened as a consequence of their bad behavior. I don't think I want my grandchildren learning from politicians who have assumed careers rather than "serving a term,"...people who pad their pockets with special interest money that influences their votes. I'm one of those people that believe our only salvation lies in cleaning out the dead wood and starting over fresh. Since Obama is losing ground in the popularity polls, he's turning to our children. Is there nothing he won't do?

1 comment:

Sue McK said...

I'm spitting angry over this. I emailed my superintendent to vote 'no' on this for my children. My kids are teenagers and plan to read Obamanation and anything by Beck, Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity or anyone who's right-wing during the propaganda airing they're forced to hear.

WARNING: I support the office of the President, not the person currently holding it!