Believe in me

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Allan-Matlem, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    This year, the Dallas, Texas school district hosted the usual meeting for teachers to kick off the school year. The unconventional choice for convocation speaker was Dalton Sherman, a 5th grade student in the district. His speech, I Believe in Me, Do You? was given to the 17,500 teachers in attendance. It was a huge hit, won him a standing ovation and national acclaim. This video is making the rounds of education blogs (some a little over the top breathless) and being played in lots of opening day staff meetings.

    In the speech, Dalton asks Dallas teachers to believe in him and all students, “…what we need from you is to believe that we can reach our highest potential.” He asks that the teachers believe in their colleagues too, “…trust them and lean on them when times get tough – and we all know, we kids can sometimes make it tough.”

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love this-just saw it about 1 1/2 weeks ago. They showed it to all the teachers in my school district. Many of us had tears in our eyes. Our district called the Dallas district to ask if it was o.k. to show it. Dallas was going to pass on to the boy's parents that we were showing it.

    What an amazing boy with a great message!
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    My gosh. Can I adopt that child? I, too, watched it crying. Scrap Obama...put this kid in office.

    Big tug at my heart for leaving teaching. Thank you for sharing that.

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Abbey is correct -

    That child has a career in politics for sure. It would be interesting to see where he is in 12 years......
  5. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I think one of the challenges of raising kids especially one's that have their struggles and difficulties is that we do not quite give up on them but we do not not really believe in them. I think believing in some one does mean that you respect that person on some level and working with them can make a meaningful contribution to their lives and your life.

    I shared this from an blog by Sylvia Martinez - Generation Yes Blog and I was guilty of ommitting her comments which really question the message and especially how it was marketed.

    Sylvia Martinez

    He’s great, isn’t he? But wait…. there’s more to think about here.

    Like… Is it cynical to put words like “believe in me” in this child’s mouth, no matter how admirable the performance? This is what some anonymous adult in charge wanted other adult underlings to hear, and they used the passionate talent of a youth to deliver the message. They knew that the message would better reach its target that way. Does it matter that it’s a “good” message? Is it manipulation or simply smart marketing?

    We talk about “student voice” all the time, and this obviously is NOT an example of student voice. There is not even the pretense here that the message came from a student, although the performer was young and talented. That’s a tough distinction to puzzle out, because praise flows easily to students who deliver adult messages and play by adult rules. It’s easy to believe in them, because they validate what we believe about ourselves.

    But what about the “other ones”. You know the ones, the students who don’t toe the line, the ones who have checked out. The ones who deliver uncomfortable messages in voices at times eloquent and at times spectacularly clumsy or even crude. The ones who challenge the world and the ones who seem not to believe in themselves. Do we listen when the message isn’t so pleasantly packaged, isn’t so clear, isn’t so crafted? Do we believe in them too?

  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I think he did a great job with delivery and he would have to be a genius at that age to come up with all of it on his own, in my humble opinion. Even the politicians have speech writers. The message was an important one- and I, too, thought about the kids with special needs while watching it. Thanks for posting it!