Istituto Tecnico Pacioli di Crema
Over IAP 2014 Madeline taught debate at the Istituto Tecnico Pacioli di Crema to over 20 different classes of students. She taught each class two or three times and prepared mock debate topics for the students as well as warm-up speaking exercises to do at the beginning of each class.
“I developed much more patience in working with students. I learned how to think on my feet and push through bumps along the way.”
Madeline encouraged her students to work in groups. She would give her students most of the class time to prepare an argument on a topic and then have a mock debate at the end of the class. Madeline had three days with each class: the first was focused on delivery, the second on argument, on the third on rebuttals.
Having not debated since high school, Madeline was anxious to stand up in front of a class and teach debating skills. “However, it came back to me very quickly,” she says, “and the students were very enthusiastic to learn a new skill.”
Advice for future students
- Be flexible. I know someone else will tell you this, but it’s true. It is good to prepare ahead of time but you should also be prepared to change, especially when you are working with 300+ students.
- Use your resources! Talk to your teachers if you have questions about ANYTHING, whether it be lesson plans or what to do over the weekend. They know their students and Italy best, so if you’re looking for a good deal on a hostel or a train ticket, or for good gelato in the town, let them know. My host family and the teachers at my school were always more than willing to help out.