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The Gordon School

Public speaking

Gordon recognizes that there are different leadership styles, and that every young leader needs their own unique set of skills.

And yet: every Gordon graduate will need to understand how to give a public presentation, and the school has many built-in opportunities for each student to get up in front of a crowd and speak their minds.

The work begins in the youngest grades in morning meetings, as students check in with one another in a teacher-led rhythm. By first grade, there are opportunities to present work to larger crowds at assemblies and town meetings. Second graders roam the campus each April with poems in their hands, interrupting classrooms and meetings with short “poetry break” recitations. Third and fourth graders experience more crafted performances, in front of larger crowds, in theater and music.

By the time Gordon students graduate, they have had multiple experiences getting up in front of people they do not know and presenting words and ideas of their own creation. Some of these experiences are gradewide, like the seventh grade Night of Words, where students memorize and perform selections from their written classwork. Others are in small groups, at alumni or admissions events. Along the way, every student, from the extrovert to the most reluctant, will get coaching, encouragement and support from their teachers and advisors.

They might not fall in love with the experience of public speaking. Their interests and talents might pull them in other directions. But every Gordon graduate will enter high school knowing that they can quiet a room and speak their mind when they need to. It is a skill that they, as future leaders, will need.