Teaching financial literacy isn’t like teaching reading, or writing, or arithmetic. For starters there’s no guarantee that you were formally taught about money yourself. And teaching something you weren’t taught yourself can be inherently tricky.
Whatsmore, money is an emotional subject, it’s not as cut and dry as other subjects. A lot of us aren’t financially confident ourselves, so to then have to stand up in front of a class of 30 kids and teach them about money is a difficult, if not daunting task.
But teaching money in the classroom doesn’t have to be impossible.
Financial education is one of the most valuable lessons we can provide our kids. Money isn’t everything, but it impacts everyone’s lives. With such a crowded curriculum as it is I know it seems unfair to introduce one more thing into the classroom. But teaching financial literacy can be done in a way that doesn’t take away your teaching time, enriches other lessons, and motivates your students in an entire new way.
Classroom economies aren’t new. I remember when I was at primary school my teacher handed out classroom money for good behaviour. This was in the 90’s and she had been doing it for more than two decade prior. In hindsight, the driver of this wasn’t so much financial literacy, but classroom behavior management with a sprinkling of numeracy skills.
And then there’s my brother teacher, and now Co Founder, who had developed his classroom economy for over a decade before we even met. He certainly honed in more on the financial literacy side of things as he introduced concepts like interest, taxes, and companies. Mr Hocquard was financially capable himself so had the ability to really bring money lessons to life. He benefited not only from improved student behaviour and motivation, but also passed on the valuable life skill of money management.
And today there are tools like Banqer available for teachers to use for free in New Zealand and Australia. We take the idea of a classroom economy and make it as easy and automated for teachers as possible. We also make it so you don’t have to be a money whizz yourself in order to teach your students about personal finance.
I love getting into classes across New Zealand and Australia and seeing how amazing the kids are in just a few short week. If you don't believe me, hear it straight from the source.
But perhaps the best part is the way that Banqer can enrich other areas of your classroom. Students are motivated not only to work harder, but also increase the quality of their work. You’ll see student creativity brought to the forefront as they ponder how they can earn more classroom currency - perhaps they’ll become a freelance proofreader for other students. And one thing I always love hearing about is how it gives students who have previously been known as more reserved a purpose to engage and come out of their shell. On top of that, money flows into any lesson, and Banqer can show you how.
Money doesn’t live in isolation, nor does teaching it. Financial literacy will be one of the richest subjects you ever teach, especially if you do so with Banqer.