Obama Makes History Again

Today Barrack Obama made history for a second time.  I celebrate this historical occasion with a selection of quotes taken from his passionate acceptance speech and include additional commentary with an educational slant.  It has no intentional political comment, it simply applauds issues that I believe are important in the world of education and relationships in schools.  You are warmly invited to comment or give additional input to each and any of his quotes.

“….But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers……”

Obama mentions education as a leading issue in America.  He rightly highlights the desire for all to have access to the best in education provision.  Every teacher wants to be the best they can be; every parent wants the best for their children and every child wants to belong to a great school community (even if they think they don’t or that it’s just not cool!)

“…Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path…”

Just like learning!  Just like education!  Just like every individual’s personal development.  The ‘how-to’ may vary from school to school, Head teacher to Head teacher, but ultimately progress will take place.  There is no one set solution.  Each challenge in school is unique and requires a unique approach to it to generate solution.  I love that in a democratic society can disagree and still come to middle ground remedy.

“…By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin…”

Moving forward is such a great focus.  A great focus for a leader of a country and a leader of a school.  The work is undoubtedly challenging and yet year after year many senior leaders tirelessly seek resolution and success for our leaders of our future.

“…And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead…”

These are the words of a powerful leader and a wonderful teacher.  A great teacher will always listen to his or her students and learn from them.  They are our greatest teachers.  Children and young people help us be better teachers, better individuals and ignite that determination and inspiration to light up the hearts and minds of our class.

“…The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on…”

This is particularly pertinent for teaching and learning and for developing healthy relationships in school.  Obama recognises the need for self responsibility and for the importance of self governance.  Without self care, self reliance, self resilience and self control we will fester into a society and school sub-cultures of blame.  I love that Obama calls each and every citizen to take up the mantle of self government and take responsibility for their lives – this includes responsibility for their learning, their relationships, their behaviour, their thoughts and their feelings.

“…This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are LOVE and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great…”

This is my favourite part. To acknowledge the wealth but understand it doesn’t make you rich.  To acknowledge the power but that it doesn’t make you strong.  We know that the ultimate strength, power, wealth and riches come from within.  Love above all else is named!  And this is my mission; that love is the key to healthy happy schools.  Love is the energy that inspires learning.  Love is at the core of all vibrant relationships, respectful behaviour and discipline.  Without love a school is a shell of empty knowledge.

 Obama leads with love.  Leaders of love will continue to shake free the shackles of oppression and injustice.  Only leaders of love will positively impact our world.  Every teacher in every classroom can be a leader of love.  You don’t have to be warm and fuzzy.  You can lead with fierce love, courageous love, inspirational love, passion and commitment to love.  For the love of learning, let us give our teachers a chance to learn the skills required to be leaders of love – not only love of their subject, but love of their craft.  It is imperative we equip them with inner skills that make them strong and powerful teachers with a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills that inspire a generation to follow in their footsteps to become leaders of love in the 21st century.

On November 7th, 2012, posted in: Blog by