12 responses to “Graduation Speaker Tells Kids “You Are Not Special.””

  1. Jah


    This one is harsher, and even better.

  2. “You’re not special.” | Education Speaks

    […] internet has been abuzz following the Wellesley High School graduation speech given by English teacher David McCullough, Jr., the main premise of which is to tell graduates, […]

  3. Todd

    This reminds me a lot of a TEDx talk from last year entitled, “You’re Not That Great: A Motivational Speech.” After years of being kid-gloved people really seem hungry for this kind of message.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXUh3wNnFrw

  4. Karen Miller

    Telling it like it is!! No more can be said.

  5. AJ from Australia

    I think the line from Bill Hicks is: “Your children aren’t special. Oh! I know *you* think they are; I’m just here to tell you they’re not.”
    That education should be about the exhilaration of learning rather than just for material advantage (or trophies) is delightfully juxtaposed against the “diploma” for finishing High School. I think Mr McCullough’s concentration at the beginning on Commencement as an event deals with this objection.
    Sensational. I’m off to show it to the students I teach!

  6. Amanda

    I love it! Finally someone willing to stand up and tell this up coming group of soon to be adults that they aren’t special! It’s about time!

  7. Robin from Israel

    I’ll give him the standing ovation that those students didn’t, with a big whoop and holler too!

    Put me firmly in the “it’s about damn time” camp. The culture of entitlement and helicopter parenting does not do our children any favors, and does have the potential for tremendous damage. How can we possibly raise a generation of competent adults if we never give them the opportunity to learn how?

  8. mom101

    37,000 valedictorians. 37,000 class presidents. 340,000 swaggering jocks.

    I think this is brilliant. “We’ve come to love accolades more than achievement” may be the best line of all.

    I was given a similar speech in college by a visiting advertising professional (along the lines of fyi, most of you won’t get jobs because you suck) and it really divided us into those who gave up, and those would work harder to get ahead and prove him wrong.

    Not everyone got it. Most of these kids will not get it either.

    But I will disagree with one notion: those kids are extremely special. At least to have a teacher like that in their lives.

    1. Rebecca Einstein Schorr

      But I will disagree with one notion: those kids are extremely special. At least to have a teacher like that in their lives.

      How very true. Great advice. Sobering for many, I imagine. But an important message at a crucial point in the lives of these emerging adults.

    2. EP

      LUCKY, not special

  9. lololol

    what a tool

  10. Larry Kelly

    Tremendous inspirational talk about reality.

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