Sunday, March 15, 2015

{#sol15} 15/31 What You Learn...
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To My Speech Kids,

First, I want to say, congrats to all of you, no matter the rating you received yesterday. I know it was tough for a few of you, the ratings were not what you hoped. But you smiled and congratulated those who received ones and kept your disappointment in check.

I was pretty disappointed for some of you---and very happy for some of you (and I hope I am even happier for one or more of you on Monday), but it all got me thinking about the things you get from speech that don't show up in the ratings.

1.  First, you get a "family". I watched all of you throughout the day-- laughing, joking, picking on each other, having fun, all while waiting for the almighty ratings. But whether the chips were up or down, you were there for each other. And isn't that what family does--supports each other through the good times and bad?


2. You learn how to work hard for what you want.  It's not easy getting those ones (or even those twos). You spend hours looking for the right material, you spend free moments practicing on your own, you practice with friends when you can't practice with me, hours and hours of practice.

3. You learn how to handle disappointment when things don't go the way you want them to. It might seem like the end of the world for a few minutes, but you take a few moments to feel sorry for yourself or to be angry at the judge and the rest of the world, but then, you move on. So many of you said to me, "Next year...." and that's when I knew you were going to be OK.

4. You learn to win gracefully. As happy as you are when you get that one rating, you know just as well how it feels to receive a two. And if your best friend is standing beside you and received that two, well, you keep your happiness in check, at least for a little while.

5. You learn patience. Those ratings take forever! So do bus rides. And waiting for All-State nominations:)

6. You make friends with new people. 

7. You make friends with "old" people. No, not me, sillies. Some of you would not be friends if not for speech. I like seeing you appreciate the uniqueness of each other.

8. You learn to be brave and try new things. I know how scared some of your were yesterday. But you put your big kid pants on and did what you needed to do. And sometimes, that's better than any rating.

9. You gain an extra parent/adult in your life--I am here forever. You are now and will always be one of my kids. 

So, no matter what happened yesterday, what you get from speech is better than any rating, although it might not seem so at the time. Talk to the alumni, they'll tell you the same thing!  

Mrs. Day


  1. I hope each and everyone of your kids read this! Wow - you are amazing! But I think they already know that. What a sweet letter of support and love!

  2. It's been a long, long time ago, but I gained those things from being on speech team. When I got married, Miss Bloemker sent me a beautiful set of crystal and silver of my most elegant gifts. I remember one of the celebrations the team had and her encouraging words about me and each person on the team...after more than 40 years. You have such an impact on your speech kids!

  3. They are lucky to have you in their life forever. So many lessons learned by being a part of an extracurricular group.

  4. These are great reminders of the lessons learned through this experience. I hope you'll share this list with your students. But somehow I'd bet that you have already let them know all these things, every day, in the way you relate to them and help them see the world.

  5. Deb,

    I'd like to offer a ditto to your comments. Feel free to share w/ your students: When I began competing in speech during the 10th grade, I was HORRIBLE. We attended many competitions in southwest Missouri, and I was there as the caboose on the team. I did not start winning until my senior year, and then I won very little. Even in college, where I had speech and debate scholarships, I lost a lot. It wasn't until PKD nationals that I truly excelled. That's how life has been, but I never quit.

    Only when I began coaching did all those losses translate into wins. Only in the last half of my career has professional success come my way. Even so, there is always more to learn.

    Yesterday "CBS Sunday Morning" had a story on "Late Bloomers." That's who I am. I don't think I'd trade my late arrival for an early, premature one.

    1. I will share this, Glenda. What a great story!