This event is free and open to any school, classroom, or educator who would like to participate and whose students possess the requisite Spanish skills. To learn more, contact either of the two founding coordinators: Maria Clara Rekow (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Claudio Pérez (email@example.com).
We strongly encourage interested individuals to contact us early in the fall term so that we can ensure the conference is structured to best meet the classroom instructional needs of all participants. The advance planning is also beneficial in terms of individual instructors preparing students for their participation in the conference, which generally takes place early in the spring term.
Below are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions concerning the conference.
How are schools selected to participate in this event?
We welcome any teacher(s) who would like for their students to be involved. To join the event, please contact Maria Clara Rekow or Claudio Pérez (their contact information is above) to confirm your participation.
How are students selected to participate?
The coordinating teachers at a given school decide the process by which they choose their respective students. Various methods have been used in previous years. Some teachers choose to rigorously evaluate students beforehand to evaluate their suitability; others more openly encouraged advanced Spanish language speakers and writers to self select.
Do students need to be enrolled in a particular class?
No. Each school is encouraged to select the curriculum model which best suits its students’ needs. Some schools prepare their students with a specialized class in the spring term, others may meet during lunch time or after school, and yet others form extracurricular clubs focused on leadership skills in order to prepare students.
Do students need to be in a particular grade?
We advise that students are in eleventh or twelfth grade given the advanced nature of the event and the special skills required for participation.
Do students need to receive specialized instruction beforehand?
Yes, at least to some extent. Everyone in the event benefits from having students who are prepared to apply advanced Spanish language speaking and writing, debate skills, research.
Are native- and non-native Spanish speakers equally welcome?
Absolutely! Student feedback has told us that the combination of native- and non-native Spanish speakers is one of the most compelling reasons to participate.
How many students can participate from a given school?
Based on past experience, we suggest a minimum of 6 students and a maximum of 20 students from each school. A common model has been for a school to send a small group in the first year, and expand participation in subsequent years after the teacher(s) have become more familiar with the process.
How do I recruit students to participate?
This varies from school-to school. Some teachers select students from their advanced Spanish language classes, while others reach out to students across the school and invite them through paper and digital announcements.
How many students and schools participate each year?
In its fifth year (2014), the event included four different schools (representing private, public, and charter institutions) and included 60 student participants.
Do students or schools pay a fee to participate?
This event is free and open to all students and all school. There is no cost to participate. Combined funding from sponsor institutions can be used to offset fees associated with technology, printing, and transportation. However, students may be asked individually to provide a modest contribution toward the expense of lunch, an amount of approximately $5-10 dollars. For students who are unable to provide this fee, sponsor institutions will subsidize the cost.
When does the event take place?
The event takes place annually in late February.
When do schools register to participate?
Schools should plan to confirm their participation by the middle of fall term, ideally by early November to allow sufficient time to become familiar with the process.
How much advance classroom instruction is recommended in order to adequately prepare students?
Although each teacher must address his or her respective needs, we recommend approximately one to two months to prepare your students. If possible, plan to work with your students beginning no later than mid-January.
Where is the event held?
Each year in late February, the participating schools convene at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM) for an all-day event which typically lasts from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
How is the event structured?
The day begins at 8:00 a.m. with welcome and introductions. Students are then separated into their respective positions, be they in the General Assembly or a topical Crisis Committee. To learn more about the structures of governance in this simulation, see our information on Committees.
Are there refreshments?
Snacks and beverages are provided free-of-charge in the morning. Lunch is provided for a modest fee. Sponsor organizations can offset this cost for low-income students. Please discuss this in advance with event coordinators if you foresee this need.
How do students reach the venue?
Schools are expected to arrange for transportation for their respective students. Sponsor organizations can help offset transportation costs if necessary. Please discuss this in advance with event coordinators if you foresee this need. Public transit, school buses, and individual carpooling have all been used in the past.
CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION & TEACHER RESPONSIBILITIES
How long should I plan to prepare my students to participate?
We recommend one to two months of instruction to allow your students adequate time to learn the rules of parliamentary procedure, memorize the unique terminology, and research their respective countries and topics.
Do you have materials to assist with this preparation?
Yes! See our Teacher Resources for an information packet to assist you in this process. You may immediately view a preview; for access to the complete packet, please email us to request the password to download the full document.
What are the responsibilities of teachers whose students participate in this event?
In addition to the requisite classroom instruction, participating teachers are expected to help in the completion of certain tasks necessary in the planning and implementing of the conference (e.g., finalizing topics, preparing name badges, requesting sponsorship for the event from community organizations, etc.).