Teacher Calls Out “Special” Generation

by Ryan on June 8, 2012

in Anything Else,Culture

Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough, Jr. made some news with his commencement address to graduating seniors last weekend.  Known for being plain-spoken and blunt, McCullough literally said to them, “You’re not special.  You’re not exceptional.”  He went on:  “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.”  Here’s the rest (start at 3:00):

Wednesday on Fox, he clarified the reasons why he emphasized that message:

“So many of the adults around them — the behavior of the adults around them — gives them this sort of inflated sense of themselves. And I thought they needed a little context, a little perspective.  To send them off into the world with an inflated sense of themselves is doing them no favors.”

Amen.  This coddling is what I think is the root of the frustrations many teachers and bosses have with young adults today.  As older adults, we already live in the real world.  So when we witness the disconnect these kids have between perception and reality it’s alarming because we know what awaits them — no matter how much coddling they get from their parents and school boards, reality will likely smack them harder than needs be.  That’s why McCullough’s message is a good one which needs repeating.

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