At Boys' Latin, we understand the importance of public speaking in helping students build confidence, develop leadership skills, and express their ideas and opinions. That's why we intentionally focus on public speaking for all of our boys, from our youngest learners through our seniors and every grade in between.
For most people, the thought of speaking before an audience is terrifying. At Boys’ Latin we give our boys opportunities to become comfortable in front of their peers from an early age. Head of lower school Greg Schnitzlein notes that, “We strive to provide opportunities for our boys in all aspects of their school day to confidently share their thoughts and ideas in an environment that celebrates them as individuals. An all boys environment allows them to feel supported by their teachers and encouraged by their classmates.” Whether it’s the kindergartner speaking during morning meeting, a third grader running for the student council or a fifth grader presenting his culminating project about a personal connection to the School’s motto, there are myriad chances at every grade level for a student to be heard. To stand before an audience and present his thoughts confidently and clearly.
"We are proud that every one of our boys will formally speak at an assembly before the entire middle school at least once during each school year.” says BL middle school head Pen Vineyard. Sixth grade students speak on current events, choosing a timely event or person to present. Seventh graders discuss multicultural events, with topics ranging from Ramadan to Black History Month. The culmination of the middle school program is the personal speech given by every eighth grade student on a topic important to him. Vineyard adds, “The boys are incredibly supportive of one another--it is always heartwarming to see classmates approach the speakers when assembly ends to congratulate them on their performance."
In upper school the opportunities are boundless. Campaign for a class office, present during an assembly, participate in Model UN on the It’s Academic team. Again, the culminating presentation is the Senior Speech. Given before the entire upper school, our seniors speak on a very personal topic, confident in the knowledge that they are supported by faculty and peers alike.