Today’s the final push. The last encouragement. I hope by this point you feel far more equipped to teach personal finance in your economics classroom. With the tools I’ve mentioned in my past two blogs and a dose of inspiration, I know you can make an incredible impact in your students’ lives. Financial literacy is so, so important.
But you know what? There are topics you probably don’t know and don’t really care to learn. For me, this is taxes. I’m TurboTax all the way. Honestly, the last thing I want to do is spend time learning the ins and outs of doing my own taxes.
And yet, students probably need someone to walk them through that process. And that’s where the experts come in! So if you have a topic or two you’re truly just not willing to learn, I’ve got a few suggestions to help you out. I supplement my Personal Finance Project with the resources below.
- Experts. Every semester, I bring in young accountants from a local (major) tax firm. They volunteer their time to teach my students the basics of taxes and all the forms involved. They have their own curriculum and handouts. It’s a beautiful thing. And it’s free!
- Speakers. Maybe you have a friend or coworker who’s not technically an expert, but generally knows a lot about one of the topics you need to cover. Perfect! Bring ’em in!
- Video Tutorials. Youtube is a beautiful thing. There are so many resources there for personal finance. There are explanations of how to finance a car, take out a mortgage, do your taxes, etc. Find a video that means the needs of your students and bam! You’re covered.
- Documentaries. I love using the documentary In Debt We Trust which is a bit outdated, but it’s on Youtube and it has excellent information on the cycle of credit card debt. It goes over how young students are often targeted by credit card companies and end up in massive consumer debt before they graduate. It’s a good one to pause and discuss as you go.
Most of all, I’d just encourage you to admit when you don’t know something. It’s better to say “I don’t know” than to give students incorrect information. I learned this the hard way my first year of teaching personal finance. It’s okay not to know. You’re still a good teacher. And what you’re doing is not only important but potentially life changing.
I can’t wait for you to implement your personal finance units. I know you’ll be great.