One of the conversations we’ve been having quite regularly is with teachers who are getting started and looking for ideas on what to do next. While we recommend reading Banqing on Basics if you haven’t done so already, there are plenty of other great resources in the Resource Hub which have all been written for teachers, by teachers. There’s also our FAQ's and Guides page for advice and answers to help you get the most out of Banqer.

Even with all that though, sometimes there’s nothing quite like being able to pick the brain of a fellow teacher.

That’s why we’re now reaching out to you all and asking for you to share your Banqer experiences with us on the Banqer Community. Whether someone is just starting out or looking for some ideas on what to do next, the community already has a great mix of insights but we know there are some absolute gems out there just waiting to be shared.

For that reason, anyone who posts in the community throughout Term 2 (until 7 July) will go in the draw to win one of our famous Banqer Auction Packs! There will also be several spot prizes along the way.

To get the ball rolling we’ll be sharing some Q&As with Banqer teachers over the next few weeks having picked their brains for insights as to how they’ve implemented Banqer in their classrooms.

Our first Q&A was with Tori and her classroom of 27 Year 8’s in Christchurch. Here’s what she had to say:

Tim from Banqer: So tell me Tori, how long have you been using Banqer?

Tori: We've used Banqer since the end of Term 1 2017.

Tim: Great, and what modules do you currently have enabled?

Tori: So we've currently got Bank Account Basics, Lending & Debt, Interest on Savings, Weekly Income, Careers & Employment, Taxation and KiwiSaver enabled in our Banqer class.

Tim: And what ways do your students earn income, and at the same time what expenses do they have?

Tori: Well my students get income from their “part time job”, homework, and their “full time job” which is reflective of the current job market statistics. The have had to pay fines for not completing homework, but I haven't implemented any other expenses yet.

Tim: Sounds really cool. Tell me, how have you found the students have responded to using Banqer?

Tori: They've been pretty excited by the idea and have enjoyed learning things that are so obviously relevant to the ‘real world’. The other areas of maths they are getting into are beginning to get the “when will we use this” reaction.

Tim: One thing I noticed is that you’ve implemented quite a realistic job market. Can you explain a bit more about how this works?

Tori: So I looked at the job statistics from Trademe and scaled those down a wee bit for the job market. I awarded the jobs based on their CVs, and an in-class maths competition. After a few months, I added a few really high-end jobs like CEOs and we did a lesson on how to write a quality personal statement. These jobs were awarded on their application of their learning from this lesson. I wanted to add in some inequality to the student's income to be more consistent with the real world when I activate the property module.

Tim: That is pretty amazing. I'm sure other Banqer teachers will love this insight. I'm also wondering how you've aligned Banqer with other learning in the classroom?

Tori: At my school we have different students for Maths, so very little outside Numeracy. I have thought about a second classroom with my homeroom, but haven’t done this yet.

Tim: That makes sense. I'm interested in what outcomes have you noticed that you maybe weren't expecting?

Tori: I learnt a bit myself, which has been great! The students are very self managed and if I don’t check the dashboard for a day or two, they make sure to remind me.

Tim: Good to hear you've found Banqer useful personally - we actually hear that a bit from our teachers! So the big question; What’s next for Banqer in your classroom?

Tori: My plan is to open the property module next, and then I will let the students accumulate money for the rest of the term. Later in the year I plan to do a unit that includes other numeracy areas that simulates a year in the life of an adult. They will need to create a budget and stick to it, and pay for the things they have budgeted for (groceries, transport, social activities etc). This will include learning intentions with other areas of numeracy. At the end of the year, I’m going to use an idea I heard about to have a ‘retirement’ party and release the KiwiSaver funds.

Tim: Sounds like a jam packed year ahead. I guess finally from me, do you have any tips or tricks for other Banqer users?

Tori: Use the unit plans - they are great!

So there we have it! We have to say a big thank you to go to Tori for being so generous and sharing her Banqer experience with us.

The creative and unique ways in which Banqer is being used never cease to amaze us so why not head on over to the Banqer Community now and perhaps share with us what you’ve been up to!

Insights from Tori (Christchurch based Banqer teacher) as asked by Tim (budding journo and Banqer team member)