2020FallSpeechClass

Speech Class Summary by Julia Gong

For the past several weeks I have been teaching seven eager-learning middle schoolers in my speech and debate class. My goal was to share my passion for speech and inspire those students to become more confident in themselves while speaking in public and introduce them to competitive speech and debate.

The experience was filled with challenges, learning moments, and successes. One major obstacle I had to overcome was teaching virtually. I really wanted to keep all the students interested and focused on the topic since there are many distractions when learning virtually. Before every class I meticulously planned a schedule that ensured engagement and participation from everyone. I often prepared portions of speeches or debates for the students to perform that indulged them within the lesson. In debates, the students learned to interact and work cooperatively with one another; when rehearsing speeches students gained knowledge in speaking more proficiently. After each performance my TA and I gave feedback, positive notes and constructive criticism, to all the students. Sometimes I would give a performance and demonstrate some important speaking skills to everyone. As the weeks progressed many improvements could be spotted in everyone’s confidence, speaking structure, and over all skill. I noticed that everyone became more engaged in the discussions and talked with much more passion in the debates. Several students worked exceptionally hard and their efforts paid off as their confidence and skill grew exponentially. From the first week to the last, each student grew and improved in their own way whether it was by a substantial or progressive amount.

The entire experience was extremely educational and I seldom faced challenging obstacles. I really appreciate the time everyone took to attend my classes and hopefully those who attended plan on pursuing speech and debate in middle or high school. Speech and debate truly offers one a whole different perspective, and in the past four classes we just dipped into the surface of it all.

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