Last Day: Down or Up?

Wednesday was the last day of class for the Summer 2012 semester.  My students delivered their final speech, the Persuasive Speech.  One of the things that we talk about with the persuasive speech is establishing your credibility, and part of credibility does include personal appearance.  For the final speech my students are required to dress professionally.  I tell them that they may not wear jeans, tennis shoes, sandals, hats, or ill-fitting clothing.  The rest is up to them.   I only deduct points if it is clear that they forgot to dress up.

Their speeches were o.k.  It seemed like the end of the semester snuck up on them and no one was as prepared for the final speech as they were for the first or second.  I was hoping for a little bit more from them.  One student did not have their note cards completed, so that leads me to believe that there was very little practice time devoted to the speech.  It seemed like my students were all flustered and uncomfortable during the delivery of their speeches– more so than I noticed the first time that they had to get up and speak.

As is my new thing, rather than dressing to the nines on the final day of class, I take it as my opportunity to dress down– in what I am now referring to as “student wear.”  I don’t know if I’ll keep it up, but t is a nice way to remind my students that I am a real person– just like them.  Sometimes I think that they believe that I am an alien being.

Wednesday July 25, 2012
V-neck t-shirt: gift from sister. Jeans: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Boat shoes: DSW.

I did have a student who was absent on the last day of class and did not deliver a final speech.  I had to contact my department chair for some guidance on how to handle the situation properly.  I did not receive any communication from the student, so I don’t know if there is something terribly wrong or what may have happened.  I am holding off on submitting my final grades in the hopes that this student will contact me.

What do you think– do you like the idea of dressing down or going all out and dressing up on the final day of class? Please let me know in the comments.

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