Action Plan


“Financial Literacy is not just about the money but about launching great kids.”
(Joline Godfrey, Raising Financially Fit Kids)

I have given my why, I have discussed my interviews, so now I focus on my learning intention. What is it that I really want to occur from this action plan??  

For our students:

  • to be empowered to make good decisions about money (to make money meaningful)
  • to open the door for money conversations to happen at home
  • to understand what life takes financially
  • to develop their own perspectives on money (and not just what they hear at home)
  • to dispel any preconceived notions about their personal finances (Eg. I won’t be able to afford a house, I won’t be able to have kids)
  • to use money to be a citizen of the world

For our parents:

  • to openly talk about finances with their child (even if it is not success)
  • to understand the use of an allowance 
  • to use the 3 piggy bank strategy (save, spend, charity)
  • to help their child start their own charity or business (should they chose to)
  • to allow their child financial independence 
  • to use money to be a citizen of the world

For teachers:

  • to prepare our students for life outside of high school
  • to use money to be a citizen of the world

HMW use age appropriate authentic contexts in order to teach the skills of financial literacy and promote a culture of philanthropy?

I took all of the above and categorized them into 3 areas of interest:

  1. Money mistakes and growth
  2. Philanthropy and doing good with the money you have
  3. The importance of being financially independent and successful on your own

So how do I empower the next generation of girls to be financially literate and philanthropic?

I hold an authentic conversation. 

My action plan is two fold.

  1. Upper School (May 26, 2020)
    1. To host a panelist of 3 women (representing each of the 3 categories above) to share their authentic stories with Grades 8-12. To give them perspectives of real world financial literacy and philanthropy.
    2. To create a handout where students can take notes, write questions and answers and reflect on their own financial literacy goals, opening the door for conversations at home.
  2. Lower School (June, 2020)
    1. To host a “showcase” including both parents and students that will be tiered in the roles for each grade from 4-7, discussing profit & loss, the 3 piggy banks, doing good with their money and investments for future (eg. RESP, TFSA)
    2. This will be an activity that allows parents and students to work together to build their financial literacy and philanthropy.

After presenting my action plan to the Head of School, she believes this is a topic that should not happen just once a year, she wants me to make it a series or yearly event; a continuum of financial literacy learning for our girls and their families. The topics and panelists can and will change as we address other topics in the future such as teaching our girls it’s ok to ask for a higher salary, how to deal with money fraud, how to start your own charity. But the concept is the same, community members sharing their authentic stories and the lessons learned in hopes it will guide, empower, and educate our future generations. 

“The difference between a fantasy and the realization of a dream is having the financial skills to make the fantasy come to life.” (Joline Godfrey, Raising Financially Fit Kids)

Thanks @swelbourn for your continued support and edits!
@vogtteaching @lmustard @Mathy_Panda @WoodleyMarnie



Go off and interview those whom your action plan will benefit is what I was told… I did.

As I began each interview with my “why” (thinking about the importance of being a woman and being financially literate, imagining how empowering this skillset is over a lifetime and teaching my students to have a voice and choice in their future), it became increasingly apparent that each and every one of us has a story to tell. During the interviews, each person was true and authentic to themselves, and I want to really give a big shout out for their intimate answers and sharing of their personal journeys. 

Who did I interview? I started with three grade 11 students who took my financial literacy class in grade 9, just to hear what they remember or have done in the past 2 years. Then I approached three teachers from Grade 6, 9, and 11, to hear their perspective of integrating financial literacy in the classroom. Finally, I had an interview with a wonderful woman who worked on Wall Street for 5 years, came back to Canada and became a partner for a Financial Planning Company (with many adventures in between). 

In the end, we all want the same thing, and thus the 3 insights that I took away from this process are:

  1. Students, teachers, administration, parents, guardians, future employers, etc. all see value in teaching financial literacy in the classroom. The impact of real-world scenarios taught within the school system is that it will prepare our students for life after high school.

  2. Teachers, students, administration are concerned there is no time to develop this skillset within the current curriculum expectations. But, if there was a resource where teachers could grab a quick problem-solving question or real-world example from a bank of prepared options, they could include financial literacy in their classroom program, just not as a discrete unit. This would also allow for cross-curricular integration, not just in math class.

  3.  We live in a virtual world where money is no longer a tangible item and this concept needs to be taught. Having a ‘budget’ is often discussed, but not how to budget. It is important for our students to understand the online aspects of saving, spending, and investing.

As I sort through my research and resources I am struck by a few comments from my students that I would like to share and really highlight why this action plan is so important.

“Our parents are financially stable and take care of us. We lack experience and opportunity”

“As a kid in our generation, we are so tempted to consume more. This influences us to spend when we don’t have enough.”

“As part of my culture, it is taboo to discuss money when you are a child.”

We are the endgame before our students hit the real world. Let’s make sure they are prepared for what’s about to hit them!



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!