Selene Kung (10) and April Tsai (10) will spend their summer as teaching assistants at the Model United Nations (MUN) Summer Academy course: earlier in the spring, the program instructor, Middle School instructor Ms. Rowe, accepted their request to join the program. Their job this summer will be to instruct middle school students in international relations, with the help of two other teaching assistants, Jaden Yuen (9) and Emily Hsu (9).
“After mentoring students in school for MUN, I felt very fulfilled from watching my mentees improve and succeed,” says Selene. “I wanted to continue doing that, and take the initiative to learn more about how to serve other students.”
A part of the reason why the two believe it is so important to teach the next generation of debaters is because they want to “pay it forward”, a concept heavily emphasized in the MUN community. “I started doing debate and MUN in seventh grade, and my own mentors really influenced my skills in thinking, global knowledge, writing, and public speaking,” says April. “The Summer Academy is a great opportunity to help the next generation grow as leaders and debaters, just like I did three years ago.”
Three years later, they largely act as chairs, or debate moderators, where they interact with debaters and try to move them out of their comfort zones.
“I’m glad that I’ll be able to spend the classroom in a learning environment, even though my role isn’t exactly a traditional one,” says Selene. “It’s important to learn as much as possible about international relations theory so I can best serve the Model UN community as a chair and a mentor.”
Selene does not think that she’ll pursue teaching as a career, but hopes that the skills she learns as a teaching assistant will help her obtain leadership skills for the future. Meanwhile, April is considering pursuing a career in global politics. “MUN changed my life in many good ways,” she says. “Spending my future on the same things I do today for fun would make me so happy.”