“Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches participants speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership capabilities.
Participants in Model United Nations conferences, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries to represent, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent. At the end of a conference, the best-performing delegates in each committee, as well as delegations, are sometimes recognized with awards.” (www.bestdelegate.com)
Having the opportunity to watch 13 through 15 or 16 year old students portray the different roles that the event requires was such a wonderful experience! Listening to their postures, their critical thinking and how they are able to analyze their points of view and present to others around us makes us question, where have they developed these skills from?
Looking back at many of these students and knowing that they have been in our school since preschool, some even earlier than that, brings us back to the question of What have we done right? It comes to a point in many of current teachers lives all over the world, that we question if this is the correct profession or even if we ever do something right? Working inside a school is a unique experience that no one that has not gone through it can relate or even imagine. There is a daily mixture of diverse opinions where one parents says you did great and another says you were the worst, yes, actually that happens with the same subject and two or three times a day. And then one day, we get the chance to listen to these teenagers discuss, role play, analyze and we see everything with much more clarity, this is actually why we teach. The daily pebbles that become part of our day no longer have importance when one can actually look at what’s really important.
Helping each little person become an independent human being who is capable of solving problems on his or her own, of discussing each one’s points of view, debating in a clear atmosphere where companionship prevails and takes the leading role.
Teaching in a constructivist environment helps students in many more ways than we can sometimes explain to parents in simple interviews or discussions. These little things that happen daily in a classroom are those small steps that make our children suddenly become so capable in these simple daily skills that will be the most useful in their adult life and in their work. All of us at Lomas Hill had the opportunity of watching these diverse personalities flourish, we saw a true leader in a person who was somewhat shy, a strong believer of personal change and growth in that boy or girl that is always challenging school rules and an enthusiastic leader in that one person that had never shown us her leadership skills.
Closure of such a wonderful event left all of us with a feeling that is difficult to express with words and faces that will forever stay with us for many years to come.
Annette Muench Garcés