Director Jack Rice reflects on his trip to NYC last weekend, where he presented on teacher leadership at the 2017 Montessori Model United Nations event.
I was honored to be given the opportunity to speak to teachers and parents at the Montessori Model United Nations event held in New York City last week. My topic was teacher leadership; which was the epitome of preaching to the choir. Leadership coursed through the event, from the teachers who led the not insignificant charge to make MMUN a reality for their students, to the Session Coordinators (senior students who led the simulations). Then there were the students themselves. My favorite part of the event was watching the students in committee sessions organizing themselves, discussing issues and caucusing with representatives for other countries. I was inspired by the ability of the students to build consensus and solve problems. On the last day, the students left the Marriott at Times Square and embarked on their final destination, the United Nations building, to complete their tasks and to finalize their resolutions and commitments.
Overall I was struck by the size of the event: over 150 schools were represented by students, teachers and chaperones from around the world. It is experiences such as MMUN that all children should have; a student leaves feeling a deeper connection to all nations and to humanity. They also must realize that the Montessori movement is huge and global; perhaps they were told that already, but five days in New York with a thousand of their brothers and sisters from around the planet must drive home the point.
I have always felt that Education was much more like farming than manufacturing, and as I boarded the Amtrak back to Baltimore my thoughts were with the MMUN and what fruit may come from the seeds that were planted at the event.