It didn’t hurt

So here we are 2 days after President Obama spoke to the school children. Yes, I sat and watched it live on C-Span. I was not offended in any way. I was not surprised or shocked by anything he said. I was actually quite happy to hear him put the responsibility of education back into the hands of the children – where it belongs. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that all of society has a role in educating children but I do not think this exempts children from taking responsibility for their own. We need good teachers. We need good administrators, counselors, and mentors. We need dedicated parents. We need friends that encourage. We need good textbooks and supplemental materials. We need clean, safe, and welcoming schools. In a perfect world we would have all these things. We do not live in a perfect world. It doesn’t matter though. Even in a perfect world, if the child does not want to learn there will be no learning regardless of the quality of their learning environment.

Kids need to take responsibility for what they learn. They need to get up every day and face the schools with a positive outlook and learn to embrace their education. They need to thrive and be driven by their desire to learn. They need to be open to learn every single day. They need to check their attitudes at the door. They need to be respectful, prepared, and inquisitive.

Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed by the speech. No, it won’t suddenly change my life or my child’s life but that wasn’t the point. The point was to simply encourage students to try harder and do better. He threw the ball back into their court and it is their choice to pick it up and run with it.

I hope that my own children will learn the important and key lesson that my parents made sure we learned, “make the most of what you’re given.” We didn’t go to the best schools in the country. We didn’t always have the best teachers. We didn’t always want to do our homework, but we knew that if we tried we would see results. It didn’t mean that we’d meet every goal or obtain everything we wanted, but it did mean we’d have a better chance of getting there.

Give them the end result and that’s all the have. Give them the tools to get the end result and they can obtain it over and over and over again.

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