Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why I'm Madly in Love with My Kid, Part 7648.3

After reading the comment to my post from a couple of days ago, I realized that I did, indeed, have something worth saying, "Listen up, world!" about.

It's not about my daughter's speech-giving abilities, though I'm more than happy to talk about those. It's about the "all I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten" kinds of lessons that came out of my daughter's speech team experience.

You see, there was no "speech team". It was a competition. First, the competition took place in each classroom, and then the winners went on to compete against each other to see which one child would go on to the district speech competition. Only one of them would go on to the next level.

The very wise teacher who was in charge of helping them prepare not only worked with them on research, writing, and presentation skills, but she chose to work with them in a group. Before long, the kids were referring to themselves as "speech team", although no one had used that phrase TO them, and in fact, they weren't on the same team at all...they were each other's competition.

My daughter didn't win. She did a great job, but she didn't win. When one of her friends was announced as the winner, my daughter put her hands over her face and screamed liked the winners of the Miss America pageant used to do (is that still on?). When one of her friends walked away crying because she didn't win, my daughter followed her and came back holding her hand.

The principal gave a nice speech at the end about all of the skills these kids had learned--research and public speaking and all of that--but later in the evening my daughter said to me, "I thought of something Mr. P didn't mention about what we all got out of this. The best part was how we all became so much better friends and we all wanted each other to do good."

I was so overwhelmed I didn't even say "do WELL."

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