Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today I went downtown for the Kanto Plains Speech Contest at Seisen, where I met two students. We were not there to compete--simply to watch and see if this was maybe something we'd be interested in, in coming years. Short answer: absolutely, we're interested!

We saw a wide selection of performances today: Multiple readings (short original scenes acted out by large groups), storytelling, informative speeches, persuasive speeches, dramatic duo acts, poetry recitation, humorous and extemporaneous speeches.

Watching these performances, and watching the excitement of the kids who were with me reminded me of how much I enjoy teaching speech and performance skills. My teaching style tends to very project-based, work that allows the students to be independent. Speech and performance add a coaching dimension to that teaching style that is missing when I teach history or English. In a weird way, I actually prefer teaching speech over the other subjects that I am responsible for. I have a sense of what's good and what isn't; I'm capable of demonstrating effective speaking, and I am developing nuance in training these skills in my students.

I would love to teach a pure speech class, as I am confident that I'd do a good job and get people excited. However, given my current teaching load, it's a crazy dream at this point... I'd have to give up something else. Still, I am seriously thinking about trying to set up a club or informal team, perhaps meeting after school every so often to begin training for next year. I think there would be solid buy-in from the students, and that we'd have the potential to do very well.

I've still got a ways to go before I feel like my skills as an English and History teacher are smoothed out to the point of the job being second nature, but I genuinely believe that I'd be starting a lot closer to that point in teaching speech! This could be my thing--that's exciting!

1 comment:

  1. Your speech teacher Grandma is smiling up in heaven! She would have loved coaching you.