As I just mentioned, my topic is Financial Education and Literacy in America, and how people don’t learn enough about money to be safe and successful in their lives. People are being sent out into the world with no training on how to pay taxes, manage debt, or make money. And even though it is more important for people to learn more about the necessities, such as using a credit card, it’s also important to know how to make money. Not nearly enough people know about or use stocks to their advantage. I went on a quest to change this.
A lot of lessons about Financial Literacy and Responsibility are being taught around the world, and they help, but they aren’t always accessible. Many schools don’t have a program properly suited to helping kids get out into the world with the proper tools and knowledge. I tried to make my own little dent on my little community.
As I said in my Second Blog Post, I was hoping to teach at least one lesson to a class of First Graders, Third Graders, and Eighth Graders, as well as a presentation to some Ninth Graders. I only succeeded on one of those counts; I taught my advisory, the Ninth Graders, but I couldn’t get the scheduling quite right for the students at my old school, ICS. In the end, I made a smaller impact than expected, but I still taught about 20 students some of the very basic skills they need to flourish financially.
However, this is only 20 students out of millions that aren’t being taught correctly. Even if I had gotten to my goal of about 100 students (the ones listed above), I still wouldn’t have made enough of an impact. The real threat is that education mandates WORLDWIDE are not giving our students a fighting chance. They would rather teach students about the Pythagorean Theorem, which only some of them will use, than about how to get a job, which all of them will need. Also, even if you’re the most qualified person in the world, you still need to know how to get and maintain a job, and how to manage the money you make.
These are some of the things I talked about in my presentation. The presentation that I showed (the slideshow that I used) is here, and some of the notes that I used are here (I used the section titled “8” for eighth grade, as the lessons were similar). I had the students talk in groups, and I taught them from the notes as well. At the end, I let them ask questions about things they weren’t sure about or wanted to learn more about.
I would like to acknowledge SLA and ICS, for being very helpful support systems when I needed help, and also for letting me teach there; my parents, for helping me through this long project and teaching me about Financial Issues; Miss Dunn, for letting me take an hour of her time to teach, and even more of her time for her to help me. She has helped me so much through this process. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide.