Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parliamentary Procedure

Sitting out from teaching this year to help Jake with kids, the feed yard and cows has been disappointing and a little sad. So, I was elated when I received a phone call the other night to watch and give criticism for the Union Local FFA Chapter prior to their district competition.  A team that has made it to districts has already put in a tremendous amount of time and really are working on fine tuning.  This team was doing just that.  

Parliamentary Procedure I will argue to my death is the hardest mental activity a high school student can compete in.  To be in high school and have the self esteem and knowledge to discuss motions you probably do not have an opinion on (ex Food for America) and study several hundred questions, where you answer only one orally (before rule change).  If you happen to miss your question all of your peers know how hard you studied and will give you the stare down, followed by the silent treatment on the two plus hour bus drive home, if they feel you did not put in the effort. In addition to these items you also must know the entire Robert's Rules of Orders five inch book plus the exceptions of all FFA Contest specific rules.  I know what you are thinking.  Who signs up for this? 

The only team I have saved on my computer.  I apologize to all my other teams.
I don't think most coaches or at least I didn't tell them all of the above information all at once.  You tell them a little bit and when they are hooked you unload the rest.  Bahahaha! Evil I know but who would sign up for 6AM practices for all the above mentioned criteria.  I will say most of the students voluntarily signed up the second time.  I believe they do just for the spirit of competition and the hopes to beat the team that we had lost to the year before by less than 10 points, and keeping us from the state competition.  What are the results of this competition?  That is something only a coach truly gets to witness and it is AWESOME.  You cannot walk away from this experience without being changed.  I've seen students that could barely look you in the eyes and ask to use the bathroom in August and by December can stand up and make a very commanding argument for why the FFA should build a greenhouse. There is a change in every student that practices for this contest in their thought process, their commitment to excellence and continued ability to challenge themselves. I am still proud of every student I have coached through this contest for being courageous enough to take the challenge.


  1. Very well put!!! I share the love for Parli Pro and just took the Waterford kids the other day and got to see them advance to districts!! I to love seeing what this compition can do for kids!!! Just thinking of the one recently that went on to be a state officer but her freshman year never spoke a word!! Truely AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing with the kids.

  2. Missy,
    I stand corrected, the adviser is not the only one who gets to see the amazing transformation. I love a good bus driver. Especially the ones that let the kids to eat on the bus so we got home earlier. You are great support for kids!

  3. I run the quilt guild with Robert's Rules of Order. Some don't appreciate the rules, but after Parli Pro ... I sure do!