Yep… the entire city of Decatur, Georgia, and City Schools of Decatur- a fantastic public system just outside Atlanta, got a Valentine’s gift to remember this year– a visit from President Obama!
In between my brain constantly wondering if the visit was, in fact, really happening… I , being the geek I am, could not stop staring at the teleprompter. Teachers in City Schools of Decatur who were lucky enough to get Presidential tickets were able to go inside our city’s recreation department for the President’s speech- and stand behind him while he delivered his address. Our district Director of Communications worked night and day to prepare for what I thought was a totally perfect and impressive visit to our fantastic city. (see speech video– this is a great speech for ALL educators! Watch it if you haven’t yet. The visit centered around Obama’s plan to provide instructional preschool to all children, regardless of parental income. We’re not talking about day care here.)
Here are a couple of personal highlights from my day with the visitors from Washington, D.C.–
First of all- I love the students in this video…
They are some of the greatest kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. And they didn’t skip a beat when being interviewed by local and national news agencies– I am so proud of them! And I have to tell you how thrilled this librarian was to be reading along in my mind with the President while he gave his speech. I was at just the right angle to read his teleprompter. He did embellish the written speech a bit, and the scrolling kept right up with him, and even knew when to skip entire sections of the speech for continuity. He is a master orator! I started wondering if it is an actual job to be the President’s “official speech scroller”. Kudos to the person who kept up with him flawlessly.
I did a little Googling, and this teleprompter by Telescript (in NJ) look like the kind the President used. He had one on each side of his lectern/podium. You could see the scrolling speech if you were at just the right angle, but from the front it looked like matte-finished glass. Way cool.
But not as cool as spending my Valentine’s Day with the President.
Sandi Dennis is a Georgia DEN STAR/ LC Member and the Media and Instructional Technology Specialist in City Schools of Decatur, GA. Her personal blog is http://www.teachertechnotopia.com