Students are nervous coming into my public speaking class. So often we tell students "Be quiet! Settle down!" By the time they reach my public speaking class, many students are afraid to speak up, nervous to share their stories. Poetry can be a powerful way for students to discover their voice.
As a high school public speaking teacher in a close-knit, economically struggling, farming community, I want to provide my students with as many opportunities as possible to learn from experts outside the classroom.
Bringing the outside in helps students learn about opportunities outside of our small community.
Our high school students are seeking connections to their learning to bring what they are learning about in class into their daily lives. This is crucial for helping students improve their competencies in critical communications skills. Students want and need to see how what we do in the classroom impacts their lives outside of the classroom.
In our public speaking course, students need to see how what we do in class has an impact in their world outside of class. How can writing and delivering a speech for a class change the way I communicate in other aspects of my life?
This is where Diatribe comes in. Diatribe is a local performance poetry group that not only tours school and community groups in our area sharing their original pieces but who also lead workshops for students on both writing and performance. Diatribe will come in and work with my students, helping them discover their voices and ultimately share them with others.
Reflecting on our experiences, crafting our stories into poetry, and sharing those words will help my students gain confidence. There is power in sharing our stories. There is power is hearing the stories of others. The workshop offered by the Diatribe poets will help my students grow in their communication skills and help us build a connected learning community in our classroom.
Not all of my public speaking students will become performance poets. However, the workshop offered by Diatribe is about building student confidence in order to share our stories.
We all have a story to tell.
Not all of my students will become performance poets. However, all of them have a unique perspective, a unique story that needs to be told and needs to be heard.
Helping students reflect on their experiences, share their voice, and listen carefully and with empathy to the stories of our peers is what this opportunity is all about.
(Diatribe is a local performance poetry group. The poets will lead us through a poetry workshop to help my high school public speaking students discover and define their voice. Students will then write and perform original pieces.)
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