As I mentioned before, I decided to have a small speech contest at my school. I thought I would have around 10 or so. It has ended up 36 kids. Preparing the kids for the contest entails:
- Helping them with choosing a topic and writing a speech
- Helping them with pronunciation. This may sound easy, but listening carefully to kids for hours and helping them correct their pronunciation is exhausting.
- Teaching them the mechanics of giving a good speech including using their voice, their body including gestures. Most kids here do not use their hands much when they speak, so this is a challenge.
It takes meeting with kids over and over, over for 2 months. Some forget their schedule, some do not want to wake up to get to their 7am meeting. I scold them, encourage them, teach them, I get angry with them, I feel incredible joy from them.
I desperatly want them all to do well but I know what will happen. Some (usually the cockier kids) will forget their speeches, A couple of the less skilled kids will knock it out of the park. Others will do just fine.
To reward the kids for there work, I am having a picnic for them, the judges and my colleagues. Yup, a picnic for 50. I am a complete idiot. I am making hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, chips, pasta salad, baked beans, and home made apple crisp. It should be fun.
In some ways I am going to be thrilled for it to be over (like I said, I am exhausted), but I am really going to miss spending time one on one with the kids.