“The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching” – Aristotle
I always enjoyed teaching and took pride in doing so (no matter the age group). It felt as if I was doing something useful with my time and accumulated knowledge. Whether it is helping out a good friend with an assignment or an elementary-school mentee with his/her homework, I am humbled every time I receive the opportunity to do so. That being said, this post will be dedicated to the following two events:
- SPLASH, November 16th 2013.
- The Clark High-School Model United Nations Conference (Clark HSMUN), November 9th, 2013.
During SPLASH, Reuben and I taught three two-hour introductory economics courses, targeted at high-school students ranging from 9th grade to 12th grade. And to our delight, we had a great turnout. First class was fully booked (30/30) and the other two had more than 2/3rds of what we expected.
The agenda for the class was as follows:
- Demand and supply (price, quantity, linear equations, graphs): 20-25 minutes
- Elasticities with examples: 10-15 minutes
- Stock market lingo (e.g. bearish, bullish etc.): 10-15 minutes
- Federal Reserve and monetary police: 10-15
- Fiscal policy (tax and government spending) and political debate (republican vs democrat): 10-15
- Economic indices (GDP, inflation, unemployment, trade balance): 20-25
If we get some extra time,
- Different economic models: Free market, Controlled and Mixed (5-8 minutes).
I was quite surprised at how disciplined each student was during the class. Even though a handful of them were not as attentive and engaged as one would prefer, none of them were by no means rude. Also, I was delighted at the fact that most the students in my class were not scared to demand clarification in more difficult areas of the course.
In almost all three of the sessions, there were those borderline prodigies sitting at the front of the classroom, who knew the answer to all the questions we posed. A few were effortlessly answering questions that we frankly weren’t even expecting a response for. That being said, it was my honor to have possibly met a few of the future Nobel Laureates in Economics right here at Clark University.
Clark High-school MUN
For the Clark High-School MUN conference, I was responsible for making a presentation on MUN parliamentary procedure before the opening ceremony and being one of the vice-chairs for the anti-Assad crisis committee run by Shane D’Lima and Zoha Naqvi. It is always good to know what it feels like to be on the moderating side of the aisle. One gets to witness both the frustrations that occur when the committee is not running the way you’d expect and the joy that comes with good delegates promoting game-changing crises. Learning what it feels like to be a chair is definitely beneficial in understanding how to be great delegates ourselves.
Kudos to the crisis directors, who had an immense responsibility bestowed upon them. Given the fact that high-school delegates require more guidance than what we are used to as college students, Riley Bright (Crisis Director) had to be on the ball from the start to the end. From kidnapping of John Kerry to the assassination of the Al Qaeda leader, our committee got really creative.