The things we do to amuse our students…
Robin knows how to put drama props to good use. He spent an entire morning this week wearing these. I think it’s becoming a fashion statement because I’ve had multiple requests from students who want to wear them around for a day.
Today we held an exhibition debate for Robin’s speech classes. The resolution was: Resolved that movies are better than books. We did no resolutional analysis, used the value of communication that went uncontested through the entire round and cut each speech down by a few minutes. We tried very hard to talk slowly, but old habits die hard. The sixth graders almost fell out of their chairs when they heard Robin’s first affirmative constructive. He was totally understandable to my ears, but they couldn’t believe that they were expected to not only understand, but also write down, his main points.
The most revealing thing about the round was when we were discussing it with the classes afterward. Robin offhandedly asked if they thought that we were angry with each other during the round and there was an immediate, loud affirmative response. I was really surprised. I didn’t think that I sounded angry or that he ever seemed angry. But I realized that for these kids, watching two well-loved teachers have an argument where they directly contradicted each other, it was a somewhat traumatic event. I forget that people outside of the debate world have very little contact with intentionally confrontational situations. So I think today was a good thing. Our students got to see us have an “argument” without letting the event spill over into our relationship. I think it’s going to spark some good conversations in the next few weeks.
What they don’t know is how much fun we actually had. While it may look like we added conflict to our already busy lives, we actually gave ourselves a little break and did something enjoyable for both of us. Far from making each other angry, we were actually enjoying it. Ah the complexities in the lives of debaters 🙂