SLO County Educators:
Below is a special invitation to all SLO middle school 6th, 7th and 8th graders to a countywide Middle School Speech Tournament to be held April 25, 2020. This initial informational flyer is our first outreach to our middle schools and will hopefully spark interest for your students' participation.
To that end, please know there is no expectation for perfection in this competition. This is most likely an initial public speaking experience and first competition for most young participants. It is important only to step up, agree to give it a chance, give your best effort with good intention and most definitely have FUN! Please know that is the tone of the competition and the effort we will all be making is for every student to feel positive about the experience, learn something new, make new friends, and be proud of their representation of school and self--both of which will be recognized. All students will receive Certificates of Participation, and every room competition will have 1st,2ndand 3rdplace awards. There will be overall winners for the entire day as well. All schools will be recognized. It is our hope that all students are given a chance to experience this event.
Thank you for considering this Speech competition for your students this year. This is the first tournament hosted by Mission College Prep, so we believe some contextual information as to tone and expectation will be helpful. I have taught public speaking classes and coached students in speech competitions for over 30 years in Marin County middle school competitions. For the six years I have been teaching on the Central Coast, I have not heard of any such tournaments here. My experience with the success of these experiences for my students over the years has ignited my passion to bring this to our county.
In the past, I have made giving a speech part of my English class curriculum in a variety of ways that fit. I have held events in my classroom before the tournaments to give my students confidence to step up and commit to a competition. As we all know, this is risk-taking and stepping outside what is comfortable. However, the gifts such efforts bring are countless and can be deeply impactful to self-esteem and confidence. Fully aware of the busy nature of the classroom and everyone’s schedules, I respectfully urge you to think of ways to work this into your students’ experiences this year and bring them to the tournament.
Principals: Please pass this information on to the educators who would be responsible for student participation: most likely English and Drama teachers. I will be happy to drop by your school personally to explain further and/or respond to any questions/suggestions you have or any information you may need to support your commitment.
It will be such fun!