Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Cafe The Cafe

Teacher tells students: 'You're not special'

Posted by   + Show Post

Ah, high school graduation. Few days stand out as proud reminders of the hope and promise of youth than commencement day. It's usually a time for keynote speakers to instill supreme confidence and triumphant messages in the young minds of today, the leaders of tomorrow.

Sure, a little perspective is necessary, but the straight talk a teacher delivered Friday to the class of 2012 at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts is getting a lot of attention for its buzz-killing reality.

Wellesley English teacher David McCullough Jr. lauded the students for their individual accomplishments that brought them to graduation, pointing out that their gowns were exactly the same and that their diplomas are exactly the same.

“All of this is as it should be, because none of you is special,” he was quoted as saying in the Boston Herald.

Wait, what?

“You are not special. You are not exceptional,” he continued. “Contrary to what your U-9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh-grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.”

Think that's tough love? McCollough, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough Sr., tore into any sense of entitlement or privilege the kids had managed to hold on to up to that point.

“Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again,” he said.

Wow, talk about mood-killers. How about this dagger? “Think about this: Even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.”

by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM
Replies (31-35):
dfollin
by Member on Jun. 11, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Yes,but that should of been part of the learning process,before hand,not on the day where they are to feel special.He was basically telling them,you did all this schooling for nothing.If he had slowly(during the year) calmly just explained to them that it's a cruel world out there and it's not gonna' be easy,but what you are doing will help you and is GOOD then it would be better then telling them....basically....that they are failiours and this was a waste of time,waste of studying and learning.

That's like a person learning that the person that they are falling in love with is not perfect while they are dating.Like an old boyfriend/girlfriend tells them that the person is lazy.They broke up because he/she would not keep a job.Instead that person shows up at their wedding reception and tells him/her that it's gonna' end up in divorce,just face it! Then,they are in bad moods during the reception,one person ends up sleeping on the couch on their wedding night.If that person knew this before (over time) then they would already see this and love that person anyway.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting dfollin:

Every person is special in their own way!

Yep, some can blow perfect soap bubbles, some can sing well enough to release top 10 songs, some can read the winds on the financial markets well enough to consistently beat the stock index, some people have a combination of good social skills, reasonably high IQ and a driving personality that means that can do most forms of paid employment better than their peers.

The problem is when children leave school under the mistaken impression that most of the real world will value these different forms of 'specialness' equally, because such a majority of children are in for a rude awakening.


atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 11, 2012 at 9:32 AM
1 mom liked this

IF you saw the clip on the news the students looked very pleased after the speech.  Many said it was the best ever.  My dh was salutatorian and he soon found out SO quickly in college, kids like him were a dime a dozen and many smarter than him.  He thinks this speech was awesome also. 

Quoting dfollin:

Yes,but that should of been part of the learning process,before hand,not on the day where they are to feel special.He was basically telling them,you did all this schooling for nothing.If he had slowly(during the year) calmly just explained to them that it's a cruel world out there and it's not gonna' be easy,but what you are doing will help you and is GOOD then it would be better then telling them....basically....that they are failiours and this was a waste of time,waste of studying and learning.

That's like a person learning that the person that they are falling in love with is not perfect while they are dating.Like an old boyfriend/girlfriend tells them that the person is lazy.They broke up because he/she would not keep a job.Instead that person shows up at their wedding reception and tells him/her that it's gonna' end up in divorce,just face it! Then,they are in bad moods during the reception,one person ends up sleeping on the couch on their wedding night.If that person knew this before (over time) then they would already see this and love that person anyway.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting dfollin:

Every person is special in their own way!

Yep, some can blow perfect soap bubbles, some can sing well enough to release top 10 songs, some can read the winds on the financial markets well enough to consistently beat the stock index, some people have a combination of good social skills, reasonably high IQ and a driving personality that means that can do most forms of paid employment better than their peers.

The problem is when children leave school under the mistaken impression that most of the real world will value these different forms of 'specialness' equally, because such a majority of children are in for a rude awakening.



Come join me at The Duggars Debate, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Mom2jngnc
by Stephannie on Jun. 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

 I may be in the minority here, but I agree.
I think as a society our children are being led to believe that they are more special than they are, and should be given everything on a silver platter.

Machelle669
by on Jun. 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Wow


atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

He tells them more than what is said here.  He says the world isn't a place where everyone wins and everyone gets trophy's.  IF you all heard the whole speech OR more of it they didn't want to put in this article you would all see that it was an awesome speech. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN