Approaching this next step in my Cohort 21 adventure was, to say the least overwhelming! I had such a broad topic, but great ideas (or so I believed). Eventually, I took my own advice to my students and drew a big picture brainstorm… I was looking at the impact on students, teachers, parents, myself… and then my awesome coach said one word… WHY?
“Create a vision board, define your why clearly, give us your back story and use your empathy, which I can so clearly see you have,'' was the advice Sam @swelbourn gave me. It seems so easy when she says it… yet so hard to write it out on paper!
So I will start with my why…
Why am I here at Trafalgar?
Why am I participating in Cohort 21?
Why am I leaning towards financial literacy and business for my action plan?
Why do I want my students (and my own children) to be financially literate?
Why do I want my students to put their money in the right place?
It all comes down to three things: mindset, skills, and real-world application.
My backstory is pretty simple, I grew up poor. I was raised by a single mom, who didn’t work because she grew up with the belief that the “father worked and the mom stayed home to take care of the children". And then, they divorced. We grew up using welfare, food banks, and sometimes living in the dark with no electricity or heat. I went to work at the age of 14 to help support our family of 5. Eventually, I graduated from university with a $46,000 debt (which I am happy to say was paid off before I was 40). But I had no concept of investments or even how to balance a budget because it wasn’t taught at school and I certainly didn’t learn it at home.
Working at Trafalgar has provided me the opportunity to promote women and finance, to demonstrate the importance of life skills, to help my students extend their knowledge, and to help them to make connections between learning and the real world. It has and will continue to allow me to foster confidence and self-assurance within my math classroom. Today I am thinking about the importance of being a woman and being financially literate. I am imagining how empowering this skillset is over a lifetime. This is one way that I will choose to empower the girls I teach to have a voice & choice in their future.
My action plan for Cohort 21 is developing, by starting with a look at women and finance. I plan to extend this learning into providing teachers with the ability to implement a program in their classroom; perhaps with a continuum throughout each grade, perhaps with a resource for teachers to access, perhaps with an assistant to ease implementation?
As I work through my ideation process, I realize that I will need to interview both students and teachers before I can really identify my action plan. I am excited to begin my interviews and will report back soon.
I welcome any feedback, suggestions, or connections to help me out in this process!