Thursday, March 12, 2009

Global Classrooms Follow Up

After the global classrooms conference, Jim and I gave our students questionnaires regarding their preparation, the conference, and their thoughts on global classrooms. I have copied some of the quotes the students wrote because they really moved me and illustrated the importance and effectiveness of the program.

One girl wrote, “I think it was a good opportunity to learn new things and to learn how to listen to different points of view.” Another student said that “we learned how to speak and reach agreements with other delegates.”

One of the most poignant comments came from a girl who participated in the conference for her second time. She wrote “what I had learnt this year is the huge problem of disease in all societies and the main that I’d learnt is that what seems to affect only specific people at the end you realize that the problem is also affecting you some way.”

If only we could all realize how interconnected we are and that we have a responsibility to help all people around the world. I am now a firm believer in Model UN and global classrooms because it makes the students think critically, learn to respect others’ ideas, use English in a useful manner, and teaches them public speaking.

Based on the success of global classrooms, the secondary Fulbrights in Madrid are starting to organize fundraising efforts with our students related to the conference topic of malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. Most of our students are really interested in the topic and we did not want their enthusiasm to go to waste. We have decided to support an organization called Nothing But Nets ( which is an organization dedicated to providing bed nets to people in Africa. One bed net only costs $10, so even if each school only raises a little money students will be able to see direct results related to their hard work. Currently, we are thinking of organizing a basketball tournament between the ten schools and selling tickets to the parents. In addition, if our school makes a profit off of the prom we are throwing, the proceeds would also go to support Nothing But Nets. However, we are very open to fundraising ideas so if you can think of anything let me know.

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