Top 5 – Reasons to love coaching debate
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Alumna, communication instructor, and debate team coach at Louisiana Tech, Megan Smith is a former Debate Coach of the Year in the Southern Region of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. As an undergrad, she was a member of Tech’s debate team. Here are her Top 5 reasons why she loves coaching debate.
- Community: Being part of the debate team as an undergraduate was a life-changing experience. I was welcomed into a family, a family that enjoys arguing with one another. My debate coach and teammates are still a family, even though it has been almost 20 years since we competed together. But it is also the community of the debate world that I love. As a team we travel to other universities where we have an opportunity to network and form bonds with people we would have never met otherwise.
- Open-minded: In debate, your preconceived notions are challenged every day. It forces you to look at all sides of an issue and think creatively. It may not be considered an art form in the popular notion of “art,” but it is a creative outlet for people who enjoy or want to improve their listening, critical thinking, and creative skills. I have learned so much from debate, and I use this knowledge in every aspect of my life.
- Arguing: When I was born, the nurse looked at me in my mother’s arms and told my mom that one day I would be a politician. My mother didn’t appreciate that very much, but as I grew-up she found out just how much arguing was in my blood. When I witnessed injustices, I tried to utilize my voice to change systems of oppression. Competing and coaching allows me to use my voice in an academic endeavor that appreciates and empowers both strong female voices and challenging the status quo.
- Communication: Being the debate coach is an extension of my love for the field of communication. I love words—the written and spoken word—and as a communication instructor, I love seeing students find their voice and use it to improve their lives and the lives of others.
- Happiness: When people ask me what I do for fun over the weekends, I tell them I take students to debate tournaments. Being in a position to give students what I was afforded as a debater during my undergraduate days at Tech brings me immeasurable joy.