Students, teachers discuss benefits, experiences with speech classes

Saumya Somasi, Student Section Reporter

Junior Jenna Lindeman said speech has always seemed like a good career option for her to learn and grow. She said she recently decided to pursue speech pathology as a major when she realized how it can be used to help people.

“I’ve always known I wanted to help people in some way so I looked at occupational therapy programs at first, but I realized I wanted to go into speech pathology.”

In honor of Better Speech month, speech teacher Dylan Gentilcore said even if students don’t pursue a career in it like Lindeman, speech is a great way for all people to gain more confidence and even improve their own listening.

Gentilcore said via email, “The (speech) course challenges our students to not only tackle speech anxiety and performance but also become more empathetic and understanding of their fellow citizens.”

Gentilcore said he initially became a speech teacher because he was offered the job and had not had a lot of experience with speech other than college courses. However, he said speech quickly became one of his favorite classes because of the growth it gave to the students.

“It’s been so fun doing everything from comedy improv games to rhetorical analysis with my speech classes,” he said.

Speech teacher Jacleen Joiner said learning to speak and being able to present are vital skills in everyone’s lives. Joiner teaches the speech class at Carmel and said she has noticed her students gain confidence over the semester course.

Joiner said, “I think that understanding how to present ideas verbally is such an important skill to have, not only as a student, but in life. Oftentimes, people have great ideas, thoughts, etc., but failure to communicate those ideas appropriately can impact future success.”

Gentilcore added his recommendation for everyone to take a speech course. He said the school offered both an unweighted and weighted P155 course, both of which he said were informative classes. (Click here to read about the expansion of these courses)

He said, “Public speaking and the way that we communicate with one another is the backbone of society. I hope all students will take a semester becoming better speakers and listeners.”

Lindeman said she had seen how speech therapy had positively impacted her family and the people around her, and she said she hoped she could do the same by going into a speech field.

She said, “A family member of mine grew up with setbacks in his speech and I knew how difficult that was for him and I think that gave me the motivation to help other people with the same struggle.”