Hi Guys -
I hope your quarters and semesters have started off well. i am back again teaching Public Speaking. Earlier in the year, I posted some questions about recording speeches (which has since been worked out with the university. whew.) this time, I am wondering what you all do to liven up your classrooms.
I teach a two-hour class, twice a week. We do a bit of discussion and/or an ice breaker at the start of class to get them thinking, then discussion of principles in the text, then a group activity of some sort and more discussion or a turn in front of the class speaking. Each class has some sort of activity component that gets them up and speaking to one another and interacting with one another.
My problem is, I have never had a class this lethargic, even at 9am. We've have something like 4 classes and although we've not had dead silence in class, I've never had a class this quiet, this reluctant to perform, to joke, to laugh. Public Speaking is a class folks have to take, so in more ways than one it's a captive audience. But the activities I've planned and tweaked over the years which have done very well in other classes are working, but not amazingly well.
I don't know if this is a winter doldrums problem, which is especially exacerbated in the quarter system when it feels as if you have no time to get all your work done, and then the sun decides to set at 2:11 in the afternoon. I don't know if this is a me problem or a student problem. But it would be nice to hear what kind of advice y'all all would have for how to address this problem!