After the conclusion of Minnesota Jump$tart’s Teacher Panel discussion, attendees were able to watch a simulcast of Fed Chair Yellen Teacher Town Hall event. A great summary of the event was included in the January 12, 2017 edition of the New York Times and can be found by following this link.
Prior to the Teacher Town Hall with Chair Yellen last week, the MN Jump$tart Coalition facilitated a panel discussion with five Minnesota teachers to get their insight on best practices for teaching financial education. Some of the key points they made are below:
- Make sure the curriculum or lesson is interactive – include a game, activity or hands-on experience that allows students to learn in real time.
- Make your classroom a safe space for students to practice making financial decisions. Making a mistake or misstep in a class or as part of a lesson (i.e. they overspend their “budget”) allows them to then learn and apply different strategies next time versus trying to manage real-life consequences that can be detrimental to their financial success. Use curriculum that supports this type of learning.
- Content should be relevant to a student’s personal experiences and goals! The panel encouraged others to make the information and curriculum relatable for students – for example, discussing how budgeting and saving play into their social lives or college plans.
- Teachers appreciate support and expertise from business professionals to help provide financial education, including acting as mentors. Many students greatly benefit from a mentorship relationship; mentors can share their own personal experiences and professional journeys, which then allows a student to better understand how their academic, career and financial success is interconnected.
- Understand that students come from various cultural and socioeconomic experiences with finances or financial responsibility and many often teach their parents and families some of the key economic and personal-finance topics they learn at school. Engaging parents and families in open conversations about finances is encouraged when possible.
Thank you to our panel of accomplished teachers: Molly Burnham, Maranatha Christian Academy; Kris Sommerville, Como Park Senior High School; Craig Spreiter, Tartan High School; Steve Steffl, St. John the Baptist School; Mike Iacarella, Edison High School.