Sunday, November 19, 2006

English speech contest...Holla!!

That's right. Put your hands together for Tashiro junior high for its performance in the English speech contest last week. We took home 1st place for 7th and 9th grade and 2nd place for 8th grade. We were most definitely the best school, which turned heads because Tashiro is known around town as having slouching students.

Not on my clock–not when it comes to English speech contest. This was my one chance to prove that I could make a palpable impact on the English teaching at my school. The benefits of my presence in the classroom are nebulous, so the speech contest was the way to make it real, to validate my job, for myself and my superiors.

For two months I stayed late after school. I recorded myself doing the speeches, one time fast and one time slow, and burned CDs for the students to listen to, to master the pronunciation and intonation. I held rounds of auditions to narrow down the best students at each level. I listened and corrected mistakes and gave advice and clapped and cheered. I've heard these three speeches at least 5000 times.

At the contest, I might have been the most nervous one in attendance. All that work was riding on a few 2-minute speeches. It could go to nothing with a blip here or there. But they didn't mess up, not once. Each gave their best performance yet. The results were announced and I was imagining getting high fives and hugs of cheer from the teachers back at school. But when we got back to schoool, no one seemed to care. It's all good–I don't need approval, the awards speak for themselves.

The 1st placers will move on to the prefectural contest on Tuesday, for which we are practicing more. I'll give a recap shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

congrats! dad