Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Reader of the Day
Our first grade teacher – like many first grade teachers – has a fun tradition of encouraging reading in front of others. She calls this Reader of the Day. Coop has participated in this three times over the past year. One of the performances, I’m sorry to say; I missed because Cooper forgot to tell me about it.
But his most recent was fun to watch. I noticed in him a true confidence that has grown so much since the first time I watched him attempt this task.
This task, however, has got me thinking about public speaking and its value in the elementary classroom. Coop has thrived in this environment. I can’t help but wonder how all the other students feel about it. You know, by other I mean the students with a temperament like my Mason.
I used to be a Speech 101 teaching assistant at Utah State University. I sat through hours and hours of public speeches. Holy Mother Theresa, some of the most boring and equally agonizing hours of my life. You see, I don’t like to see people embarrassed. It gives me stress. Real and true stress.
Every time an international student would take the podium and struggle with both language and nerves I would nearly vomit. And it wasn’t just students with a language barrier. There were students who embodied the euphemism: I’d rather die than deliver a speech to a room full of people. Do you know what happens to people when they are nervous? They make absolutely no sense. None. Try grading jibberish.
Public speaking has never been an issue for me. Ironic since I am actually terribly shy. My husband, however, would rather lick the bottom of his shoe than speak to a group larger than 12. No kidding. I empathize with this because I would rather deliver a child without pain meds than sing karaoke. For reals. In fact I’d even take that kid home and raise it for 18 years before I would agree to sing in front of anyone. Any. One.
What brings you discomfort? And how much? Would you eat a sandwich out of a rubbish bin if it meant you never had to take a math test?