The dreaded assigned class presentations.
I always thought about how the students that are not comfortable with public speaking feel about these assignments. How is it fair to ask them to speak up in front of a classroom of peers staring blankly and seemingly judging them?
In high school, I watched a girl shiver and sweat as she went up and presented to our history class. The teacher basically asked her to continue and she stared at us all, helpless and alone in front of the class.
This is not right. Social anxiety and fear of public speaking is not a joke and should be taken seriously by educators and other professionals. I do not believe that grading in education systems should consist of public speaking presentations.
We all have different talents, which can be shown off in different ways. Writing, speaking, or test taking- displaying the knowledge of information can be presented in alternative ways, besides speaking in front of a class.
I'm going to be honest. By any means, I'm not the best presenter in front of the class and I always get mild anxiety when I'm asked to speak in front of my class. I dread the daunting feeling of being judged, watched, and the thoughts that are filling my head- "Am I saying this right?" "Do I even know what I'm saying?" "Why is my heart beating so fast?"
While teachers say that you will "not be graded on your ability," you basically are, as the whole point is to show that you know what it is that you're talking about. Is submitting my assignment in a timely, academic manner, not enough? My research for assignments is thorough, well thought out, and I personally put a good amount of time and effort into my studies.
We all learn differently and I believe that everyone has different talents that can be displayed in different ways. There are visual learners, kinesthetic learners, auditory learners, and reading/writing learners, which each possess various talents and strengths that should be recognized and shown through their work, not their ability to present in front of a class.
By grading me on this ability, my other talents are not able to be shown, which I believe is a great disadvantage. I would much rather be assigned another essay, where I'm able to prove that I thoroughly comprehend the knowledge that I've learned in class.
For those who have social anxiety or a fear of public speaking, I think that there should be a private presentation that is done between the student and the teacher. This is, of course, if the presentation is absolutely required for whatever reason.
The stress and the burden of an in-class- presentation that a student feels is not worth the grade, in any case. Teachers and other educators, please remove this requirement from your grade book.