On Saturday morning, I dropped by St. Clement’s as our staff and girls hosted the Annual Fall Fulford Impromptu Debate. While our girls do not compete at this event, I enjoy seeing students from so many schools demonstrating exceptional debating skills- skills that I believe are vitally important for everyone as they learn and grow. Guiding these students with feedback and support are dedicated and thoughtful debate coaches. In addition, the judges during these debates are in a position not only to mark students for their performance, but also to provide feedback.
During the Judges’ information session prior to the debate rounds, a past debate coach from Upper Canada College, Michael Muir, explained that judges should be ‘sagely engaged,’ and I couldn’t stop thinking about the term and its implications for the rest of the day.
Regardless of our roles in the lives of our Clementines, I believe we all need to be sagely engaged. To me, being sagely engaged is to, over time, increasingly step back while still keeping an eye out, to question when needed and, to provide feedback and prompting only when truly necessary.
I am very glad to have had the opportunity to see a debate this weekend, and watch with pride as our St. Clement’s staff, students, parents, alumnae and friends hosted guests so beautifully. I always appreciate taking away some learning from an event, conference or discussion, and today did not disappoint!
I look forward to considering how to sagely engage going forward.