Obama Speech

September 17, 2009 by alicemercer · 72 Comments · assignments

We’ve just watched President Obama’s speech to you about education. He asks you to set goals for your education. What goals do you have for this school year? Please send me a comment of two sentences sharing your goal or goals. Below is the President’s speech if you’d like to read it to get some ideas for your response.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

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72 Comments so far ↓

  • Jose

    I will never give up on my self. And not talk to much in class

  • Maurice.w

    My goal IS TO DO GOOD IN SCHOOL

  • tyrek w.

    i think that that speech was telling me that im not a feller i just have to work .my goal is to be basic in math and i promise to be good in school.

    thank ; you by

  • Rosa

    My goal is to be advanced in every subject. I would be so proud to past the 6th grade. Last I would love to get my education and graduate.

  • Andre M.

    One of my goals is to pass the sixth grade.Another one is to be a police officer.

  • Shelley V.

    My goal in this year at this school is to speak louder when I’m reading a speech. My next goal is to try my best on what I’m doing for my hold life.

  • Maurice.w

    MY GOAL IS TO DO VERY GOOD IN SCHOOL AND GRADUATE from collage to.

  • Monti A

    My goals for school are to learn my multiplication facts.

    My goal is to be a engineer.

    • Koua T.

      Another thing is that i want to know my multiplication also.

      I say that because you are one of my best friend.

  • Laquiesha W.

    I think I wont to be a firefighter.

  • Cristina E.

    My goals are to stay focus and to do better in school to be successful and get and a education and not end up on the dark side .I want to be good and get an degree so I could be a Vet and then a Lawyer.

  • tim.v

    My goal is to improve math,languageart and i want to be a cop.

    • Laquiesha W.

      Me too because if someone beats you up then you can arrest them like your friend or your family member or if someone is robing your house or someone is robing another persons house.

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