Resources for Parents
As students come home every weekend with ballots and stories about their rounds, parents can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. This is a resource for parents that are seeking to be a little more enlightened on what exactly Speech and Debate is, and why their students are so avidly invested in it every weekend. We also appreciate any support in terms of donations and even subscribers!
What Forensics actually is...
We know that this activity seems a bit foreign to those individuals that don't spend their weekends in suits talking to walls, so, we're trying to make it as easy to understand as possible. It began with Plato. Forensics, literally means 'the art or study of argumentation and formal debate.' This comes from the Latin word forensis: public; to the forum or public discussion; argumentative, rhetorical, belonging to debate or discussion. Plato used forensics as the method for seeking truth, through argumentation, discussion, and debate the people of ancient Greece were able to find the truth in a matter.
This is written to students who are thinking about competing for the first time, but it's very helpful for parents getting a grip on this forensics thing as well.
First thing's first: You need to know which event your student is competing in every weekend. This is like knowing what position he or she plays on the football team: it makes all the difference. Each event demands its own set of skills and challenges, and has its own set of rewards. Find out which even your student does, and then read up on it here.
If you're thinking about Judging at your first tournament ever, there are some nifty hints and tricks that will help ease you into the fray.
Helps explain some of the jargon that your student just seems to know.
For those parents that have never taken part in this activity, knowing how to be a help and not a hindrance to their success can sometimes seem like a huge ask. This is a resource for those parents and guardians that are trying to support their students in this activity (Go, You!)
How to Help Your Student's Team
Teams all have a different dynamic and flow. While no advice is universal on this front, there are some suggestions that you can make your own.
Complimenting your administrator is a great start. Here's a sample letter to get his or her attention and hopefully help you son or daughter get the necessary support to keep the program strong.
Is your student's team a part of the National Speech and Debate Honor Society? This is a visual that administrators can see, as every inducted member receives graduation chords and a lapel pin that are worn on graduation day.