2nd Day Informative Speeches: Fall

Thursday we continued with speeches since we didn’t get through very many of them on Tuesday.  I am trying not to freak out about it too much, but that puts us behind.  I thought that we would only have 3 speeches or so on Thursday, but we had 6 speeches to go.  That meant that the time I had planned to be lecturing over presentation aids was just not there.  We were able to start the chapter and go over the first key idea–what are the different types of presentation aids, but that is all.

Now I am in a difficult spot because I have my evaluator coming on Tuesday.  There is nothing that says that we can’t finish up chapter 10, have the quiz, and then begin chapter 8 on language.  But, Chapter 8 is kind of long and I found this really good 5 minute video clip that I think will really segue us into a discussion about language.  I guess I am just afraid that my students will complain about having a quiz over material that we didn’t discuss in class.  On one hand I kind of agree, but then on the other hand I think, it’s in the book, it’s fair game.

I’m also nervous about my evaluator coming on Tuesday because I am going to be absent on Thursday because of the bartender flair competition.  You are not supposed to cancel class– you get paid to be there and to teach.  But, it was short notice so I didn’t really have the opportunity to get a substitute.  And it’s review, so I’m not sure how much a substitute would help.  I guess I thought that the students would be happy, but I have a couple of them murmuring their complaints.  Ahhh, who knows.  I hope that it will work itself out.

Flowered cardigan: Old Navy. Purple silk tie neck blouse: J.C. Penney. Purple earrings: unknown. Purple bracelet: gift from dad. Silver watch: Fossil. Blue corduroys: Old Navy. Brown Oxford style shoes: unknown.

Long time readers of this blog know that on speech days I tend to dress a little more casual.  I’ve worn elements of this outfit together before, but to my knowledge I’ve never worn these exact three pieces together before.  It’s nothing all that fancy– just a shirt, cardigan, and some pants.  But, I went to school with clothes on and I followed all (one) of our dress code rules: no jeans.  So, it’s a win.

What do you think?  Do you think that this outfit is too casual?  Or, is it appropriate because I am sitting down evaluating speeches and not lecturing in the front of the room?
Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts about whether I should finish the chapter before giving the quiz, or just give them the quiz first thing? I am nervous about my evaluation because I want to do well and I’ve never met this person so I don’t know anything about him.


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.

Copy Cat


Every semester starts out the same.  I am filled with many hopes and desires and feeling optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead.  But, somewhere in the middle, both the students and I start to wear thin.  Once we get to the end, we are just ready for it all to be over.  But, I have to start thinking about the next semester before the one that I am in is even over!  That is both good and bad.  Sometimes it can be all to easy to just give up on the current semester and turn your attention and focus towards starting anew with the next semester.  But, pulling it together and pushing through those roadblocks shows determination and perseverance.

I think that for Fall semester I am going to have to be more proactive and schedule a massage, or three, during those middle of the semester weeks that are particularly challenging.  I experienced the same thing with the Fall ’11 and Spring ’12 semesters.

Since Monday was the second to last day with my students I wanted to wear something that was a little more professional and classic.  And what better than a crisp white button-up shirt and khaki skirt?  The inspiration for this outfit comes from dual sources: Pinterest and my BF.  When I asked him what I should wear on Monday he said, “a pencil skirt and button up shirt.”  Which, is pretty much his standard answer.  (But that’s o.k., because it is one of my favorite outfit formula’s, too!)

I could have embellished with different jewelry, but since I’ve gotten this J.Crew knock-off bubble necklace I have only worn it once.  I wanted to wear it with contrasting colors of coral and salmon, but that didn’t pan out a few weeks back.  Although my outfit is very similar to the inspiration photo, it isn’t quite the same.  I chose to go with gold hoop earrings and my gold watch, while the inspiration photo pulls in more pops of turquoise with the bracelet and clutch.

Monday July 23, 2012
White button-up shirt: J.C. Penney. Bubble necklace: E-bay. Gold hoop earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown pointy-toed shoes: (thrifted.)

On Monday, I finished discussing Chapter 14: argumentation.  We discussed fallacies in reasoning and talked about how and why the textbook makes a distinction between persuasion and argumentation.  Then, I gave them a clean copy of a student’s outline and asked them to go through it and grade it using the same grading sheet that I use.  This is the activity that I tried a few week back that failed, miserably.

This time, it worked a little better.  Sadly, they finished the first one quickly, so I thought that they would have time to do a second one, but they were just able to finish it.  This way, each student received two peer-review sheets for their outlines and my preliminary grade sheet.  I should have left more time for discussion about the grading, but I think that it was still helpful–both for the students to practice giving and receiving feedback.  And, it was a dramatic improvement upon last time, so I am going to place it in the W-in category.

Wednesday will be my last day with these students.  Although I am glad that it will be over– it was a tough semester, it’s always a bittersweet ending!  They are required to dress professionally for their final speech, and I will be taking it easy in student wear–re: jeans and a t-shirt.  It’s a bit of fun little role reversal.

What do you think?  Do you like my interpretation of the inspiration photo?  Do you try to re-create outfits that you see on Pinterest, in magazines, or on other people?  Where do you draw inspiration from?

Demonstrative Speeches and Leopard Print

Wednesday was a speech day– one of my favorite types of day.  It is nice to be able to sit back and listen to the students deliver their speeches.  Although, it’s not all fun and games.  I still have to evaluate each speaker.  The class does peer evaluations also, but they only have to evaluate two speakers, so the other two they get to sit back and enjoy.  Usually, since I’m not going to be taking center stage as much, I like to take the opportunity to dress down a bit.

And, Wednesday was no exception.  I chose to wear my leopard print tie-neck button up.  I had originally envisioned pairing it with khaki trousers, but when I put the outfit on it was a complete khaki overload.  I’ve paired this top with a black pencil skirt and black dress pants before, so in an effort to style it differently, I reached for my denim colored trousers.  And they worked.  (I feel like I almost always reach for these pants on speech days– it’s about as close as I can get to wearing jeans in the classroom!)  To finish off this outfit, I chose red patent leather ballet flats and silver accessories (again, trying to be different.)

Wednesday July 11, 2012
Leopard print tie neck blouse: (thrifted.) Zodiac necklace: Target. Silver cuff: J.C. Penney. Denim trousers: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Red ballet flats: Target.

The demonstrative speeches were very interesting. The students have to select something that ties in to their program of study or intended career choice, so I get to learn about a wide variety of topics!

“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda:” Time Wasters

The delay in this post comes from the fact that Wednesday wasn’t a great day.  And it kind of breaks my heart because it was speech day.  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you will know that speech days are my favorite.  I get to see my little birdies fly on their own and really strut their stuff.

But, these little birdies did not.  To make a long story short, my students indicated to me that they were feeling unprepared for their first speech.  In my opinion, they wanted to push all of the blame on to me and say that I didn’t prepare them.  This caused an explosion of feelings within me.  First, I was angry that they could even think such a thing.  Then, I was feeling very attacked and defensive.  (I honestly don’t know how I managed to keep my composure.)

I suggested that we could continue watching video examples and push the speeches back to the next class period.  After about 30-40 minutes of debate my students opted to deliver their speeches that day.  Of course this outraged me even more.  One of my main counterpoints to them not feeling prepared was that it takes us soooo long to get through the lecture material that I cannot spend time doing other activities–worksheets, showing video’s, group work, hands on learning activities, etc.  It’s my thought that they don’t read the chapters and come to class prepared, so when I begin lecturing over the information they have a very difficult grasping it because it is unfamiliar to them.

And Wednesday was a perfect illustration of my point.  They spent all that time discussing their speaking apprehension and telling me all the things that they think I should have done differently and then they gave their speeches, anyway.  So, guess what?  After the speeches I had this whole lecture on MLK’s I Have a Dream speech planned that tied in their homework from the previous day.  But, we didn’t get to it.

My BF picked out my outfit.  When I asked him what I should wear he said “a pencil skirt.”  I took it from there, selecting which pencil skirt (my newly thrifted one), a top (a lovely burgundy silk top with tie neck), and accessories (bronze/gold to match the hardware detail on the skirt.)  My BF did, however, pick out which shoes I wore with this outfit.  Sadly, I really like this outfit and I hate that it was such a horrible day.  (Also, my long-time readers might notice that, for once, I didn’t opt to go casual on speech day.)  What a bummer!

Tie neck top: J.C. Penney. Bronze feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Gold shell bracelet: The Jewelry Superstore. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

What do you think? Do you ever start out the morning feeling great and then just watch the day start to unravel right before your eyes?

Royal Blue, Coral, and Last Days

Friday was the final instructional day of class.  I lectured over chapter 14, argumentative speaking, and we tied up some loose ends.  One of the things that I have the students do on the first day is fill out a listening evaluation sheet.  This leads us into a discussion about poor listening skills and how taking a public speaking course can help you to improve your listening skills.  And, by improving your listening skills you are also inherently improving your speaking skills.

Close to the end of the semester, I have them fill that same evaluation out again.  By then, they have forgotten all about it and how they scored themselves the first time around.  The goal is that they have increased their score and improved their listening scores.  Most of my students did improve.  There are always the one or two that go down.  This could be due to a variety of reasons– either they lied the first time around, or they didn’t fully understand the questions, or now that they know what good listening is, they are more critical of themselves.

I also have them fill out a personal inventory.  I ask them about any prior public speaking experience, their skills and weaknesses as a speaker, their fears, and their goals.  I specifically ask them what grade they hope to achieve.  Then, as a follow-up question, I ask them how much time they plan to devote to the course.  Most of the time, the students write what they think that I want to hear– that they want an A or B and they are willing to do whatever it takes.

However, I think that some of them come to find out very quickly, that they underestimated the time necessary to achieve an A in a public speaking class.

For the last day of class, the weather was warm and I wanted to wear a new tank top that I recently purchased.  I had a few different options as to what to wear with it.  This is one of the reasons that I bought it.  Without hesitation, I could rattle off at least 4 different bottoms that I could pair the top with.  (This is a great little test when you are trying to decide whether to buy a piece of clothing.)  I opted to pair it with a coral pleated midi skirted that is on-trend right now.

Royal blue cardigan: Target. Ruffled tank top: Target. Coral pleated midi skirt: (thrifted.) Necklace: gift from mother-in-law. Silver watch: Fossil. Shell bracelet: gift from mom. Brown sandals: (unknown.)

Truth be told, I don’t love this outfit.  I don’t know why, though.  I think that I don’t love the bright blue and the pink–even though those colors are both in the abstract print.  I also feel that the shirt doesn’t look great with my skin color because I am so pale– I feel like it washes me out, and the pink skirt does nothing to help that.  I think that a turquoise colored cardigan or skirt would have been much better.

The next time I meet with this group of students will be during finals week, on our regular day and time. They do not have a paper test, they will be delivering their persuasive speeches instead.

How to Agitate Your Students

As a teacher, do you ever swear that your students dream up elaborate ways to agitate you?  It’s like they know just how to push your buttons.  They know that if they ask something that is blatantly written on the syllabus that they can see you start to fall apart at the seams.  Well, for all those times that my students have done that to me this semester, I got them back.  And, I didn’t even have to try.  Well, not really.

Yesterday, was the last official day of class for my tuesday/thursday students.  Next Tuesday they will assemble to take their final exam and then they will be free of my class–forever.  Since it was one of the final days of class my campus was holding an end of the year celebration.  Because we were having a celebration, they allowed us to wear jeans.  (Little did they know that I was sort of planning on wearing jeans, regardless.)

This is what I wore: a t-shirt, jeans, and converse.

Indian’s t-shirt: Wal-Mart. Red tanktop: Old Navy. Jeans: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Red earrings: unknown. Sunglasses: Wal-Mart. Converse: unknown.

When my students walked into the room they looked at me like I was an alien.  I had completely thrown them for a loop.  Apparently, it had never occurred to them that I am a regular person and wear “regular clothes.”  I think that they had this idea that my teaching clothes are like armor and that I am always wearing them.  Comments ranged from “Why are you wearing that?”  to “Wow. I thought you were uptight, but now I see that you aren’t.”  It was very amusing.  Now, keep in mind that they were all dressed up as a requirement for their final speech.  So, I was sitting cool as a cucumber in jeans and a t-shirt while some of the guys were wearing suits, and the ladies were in dresses and nylons.

It was amazing to me how bothered they were by seeing me in everyday clothes.  It opened an interesting discussion, that I related back to class, about dressing for the occasion and how your personal appearance can add or subtract from your credibility.

How about you– do you have any ways that you get back at your students for the grief that they put you through during the semester?