Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

What Can Students Learn About Self-Control From President Obama?

| 1 Comment

Readers know I’ve been working to help my students develop a greater capacity for self-control (see “I Like This Lesson Because It Make Me Have a Longer Temper” (Part One)).

I just read today’s column by Washington Post columnist David Broder, and think I might be able to use parts of it in another lesson on this topic.

It’s titled Obama and the challenge of slow change.

Here are a few excerpts:

We are beginning to learn that the Obama presidency will be an era of substantial but deferred accomplishments…

For a nation whose culture has produced a psychology demanding instant gratification, this politics of deferred satisfaction is something not easily learned….

But a president who is not driven by a compulsion to provide instant gratification for his constituents must also cultivate adult patience in them.

I think that excerpts from this column might be a nice read aloud, accompanied by asking students to write a response to something like “When was the last time you waited to get something bigger and better instead of grabbing something you could get immediately?” I could certainly preface it by saying it’s just one columnist’s opinion, and they shouldn’t take it as fact. But President Obama is thought of so highly by so many of my students, I wonder if it might be worth a try.

I’m sure there are better writing prompts, but I’ve got a lot of things on my plate right now. Please share your ideas in the comments section. Feel free to also say if you think this would be — or wouldn’t be — an appropriate column to use in the classroom.

Print Friendly

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I think it is a great idea! I think he is like the energizer bunny who keeps going and going and trying and trying, waiting on certain things and finding the right time for other things. I find his promise of change to be coming true–just taking time. A fine lesson for students to appreciate and one that will get their attention because EVERYONE had an opinion on him and his presidency. I say go for it, and let us know how it goes!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.