A good deal of attention has been given to the opening school address of 10 year old fifth grade student Dalton Sherman to teachers and parents in Dallas last month. "Do You Believe in Me?" was well-received by his audience judging by the reaction and by a number of educational bloggers.
But I was unmoved.
Dalton is obviously an extremely talented young man. He has a bright future as a preacher, politician, actor, timeshare salesman or school superintendent. The message itself was one worth hearing - we all need to believe that all children can learn and succeed. (He was delivering a script written by school board members.) So what's the problem?
- Maybe it was just too smooth.
- Maybe it was rhetoric without substance.
- Maybe it was a message we've all heard so many times that it's become meaningless.
I wasn't motivated; I felt manipulated. But then I am a self-admitted cynic that needs a little substance with his speeches.
And I hope Dallas ISD paid the young man well for his work.
Sorry. Just needed to get that out of my system. I feel better now.