We are thrilled that our High School debaters often volunteer to act as judges for our Middle School Debate season. We were able to sit down with Johnson High School debater Carlos to talk about his perspective as a high school debater making the transition to judging middle school debaters:

Carlos photo__1456353944_141.224.147.37My name is Carlos. My experience with high school debate was, I’d definitely say, very changing for me. I had to step it up a bit because last year’s participants were really good.

I started debate because a lot of people and teachers especially consulted me on doing debate, because I’m an outgoing person and I speak my mind most of the time. It was a good choice. It really was. It was a way to actually get my voice out. I like the fact that you learn from it and that you do something with it, that’s what I really like.

And I’m also judging middle school debate now. It’s my first time, but it’s kind of hard. It’s tough because when I’m there hearing them out I want to say something, and then it kills me not to say something.

I feel like it’s a really tough job because you have to listen well, pay attention, write things down… and as you go along you have to kind of remember things about the kids, and how they do. But I have to say from first experience you can learn from it really quick.

As a judge, I think you should think of yourself as one of them, really, so then they trust in you and they do a better job and then they say things better. And then you yourself, you get better. As my first experience, now, I got comfortable with them, it really eased me up as a first-time judge.

Now that I’ve been in both shoes, I can tell that judging can really help you win as a debater and improve, and know what judges might be looking for.

Everyone should try being a judge!