We had our first Global Classrooms conference last week! Well, it was more of a practice round for my segundos (8th grade students) and I, seeing as we had never participated in a conference before. We hosted it at my school, Ría del Carmen, in the sala de conferencias (conference room) on the second floor. 64 students, 5 teachers, and 3 Fulbrighters, from 3 area schools, kicked off the 2014 Global Classrooms season with this “mini-conference.”
As I’ve written before, Global Classrooms is a model UN program that has been simplified for English-language learners. It’s very formal; the students have to dress up, use the formal UN vocab when they want to speak, and prepare speeches for the event. The topic for this grade level is education; each delegation had to research what kinds of problems exist with education in their country and make suggestions about how to improve it. To get a better idea of what the students are working towards, I can send you some powerpoints and worksheets…or you can take a few minutes and watch this video:
The culmination of Global Classrooms will be in March, when 15 area high schools send their best, hardest working students to participate in the Santander conference. But for now, we are getting ready for our regional conference, in February, in which everyone gets to participate.
My segundos had been working
very hard to prepare their position papers and speeches for the mini-conference , while my fellow Fulbrighters and I had been doing our fair share of prep work, as well. Even though the kids had made it clear to us that didn’t they own anything nicer than jumpers and trainers (that’s British English, in case you were wondering), they somehow all managed to show up Tuesday looking pretty spiffy. They were super nervous to give their 90 second speeches, but they all rocked it and made me one proud teacher. Speaking spontaneously during the “informal debate” time, on the other hand, is something we’ll definitely be working on before the next conference comes around. Most of the debate went like this…
Nepal: “USA, we would like for you to give us money for girls education.”
USA: “How much?”
Nepal: “3 schools”
The students’ favorite part of the conference? Unmoderated caucus. This is the time when you get up from your seats and make deals to give other countries imaginary money, etc. Just to give you an idea of what international relations would be like if thirteen-year olds ruled the world, here are some of the resolutions that were created during our conference:
I don’t know who had more fun, the kids…or us!