School Thoughts Social studies

School Speeches

To read this article in Spanish, please click here

On this August 17thwe meet once more time to commemorate a new anniversary of the death of our great General “Don José de San Martín. San Martín was a man that….”

That way could start the reading of the classic “allusive words”, that many of us will remember if we bring to our memory the school ceremonies.

As a child, the image of one of my teachers standing in front of the large audience comes to my mind, with a sheet of paper in a hand and a microphone in the other one, trying to transmit with her words a message to think and take into account.

Nowadays I’m a primary school teacher and since I’ve witnessed a lot of school events, I have a doubt that still haunts me: what’s the real meaning of those words and who is the main target audience?

If we analyze each and every one of speech’s word, we’ll see that it’s clearly conceived for an adult public, not just because of the use of non- common words but for the political and ideological message itself. For this reason, only the adults are able to decode and understand the message. Kids are excluded.

Furthermore, it’s important to say that many of the speeches are a faithful copy of others that have been read in other institutions with different local realities.

This suggests that:

Teachers may think speeches are just a useless formalism and consequently, it’s not a big deal to borrow a speech from a colleague or a text that has been read previously.

Teachers may think speeches are timeless and it’s possible to take them out of context without any problem.

Teachers may give more relevance, time and resources to the show (role-play, samples, etc) than to the commemorative words.

The question is inevitable:  does it make any sense to read a text that will not be fully understood by the majority of the audience, in this case the students?[/pullquote]

Besides, there’s another factor linked to the Argentinean educational context. This factor is related to technology and a lack of modern equipment (or its breakage) when the date of the event is closed. There is a negative impact because if the teacher doesn’t have a microphone that works properly, it’s difficult to transmit a clearly audible message to the audience.

Finally, I want to submit for consideration, the following question: why don’t we think to resignify the allusive words so that everyone would understand our message?
Why must it be a read text? Why can’t it be acted? Why is not possible to use any another resources to spread the meaning? (Using technology, arts, games, etc)
We need to make some changes in order to include the kids, who are our main target.

Translation courtesy of Silvia Siccardi


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