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There’s a pretty important speech happening today. But I’m not here to talk about that.
I’m here to talk about some pretty important speeches that happened in my classroom over the last several weeks.
Every year, my students have to do a 3-5 minute speech. They groan and grumble until I give them the rules. Speech topics must be researchable (pretty sure I just made that word up, but hashtag YOLO) and school appropriate. Otherwise, I give very few guidelines to my students.
Speeches can be about ANYTHING!
“Wait, so I can give my speech on golden retrievers?”
“What about the Steelers?”
“How about chicken pot pie?”
“Uhh…how do you plan on researching that one?”
“Oh. Right. Maybe I’ll just talk about Bruno Mars.”
Topics always range from the biographical (“Bieber speech” is a phrase that has been part of my vocabulary for years) to the career-oriented, from animals to hobbies.
But this year was different.
This year, I had one student do a speech on feminism. Two others spoke about the wage gap. And kids listened. It was pretty cool.
Guys, watch out. In spite of what you may think, current high school kiddos are pretty well-informed. They’re aware (or “woke” as they put it), and they’re impassioned. And it gives me hope.
It gives me hope that no matter what anyone says today, the future is going to be better.
The future will be better because we will continue to stay informed, vocal, and vigilant. Most importantly, we will continue to treat one another with kindness.
I bought this shirt from Modcloth this past fall. When I bought it, I wasn’t making a political statement. I’m still not. Quite a few of my favorite companies (ahem, Modcloth) were founded by women. We’re killin’ it these days. So when I took a Sharpie to this shirt last weekend, it wasn’t a political statement. It was an affirmation of what I already know, confirmed by several students in my ninth grade classroom.
PS…if taking a Sharpie to a white t-shirt freaks you out, check out this shirt. Same sentiment, Sharpie-free. Someone out there thinks like I do, but they have a much better design aesthetic. 😉
Have a great weekend, be kind to one another, and stay woke 😉