So you look at your schedule for the new year and realize you’re teaching Econ for the first time. Crap, you think, this subject is so boring. All I remember from high school is there’s a ton of graphs and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- style lectures.
Oh friend, let me assure you. You’ve just been handed a straight up gift. After all, we don’t have to teach in the same boring ways we were taught and if you didn’t have an awesome Econ teacher in high school, well, that can give you an unfair bias against the subject.
After all, there are really, truly few subjects as relevant to your high schoolers as Economics. And that’s the beauty of teaching Econ: you don’t have to work that hard to convince your students it’s worth learning.
So with that in mind, here are my top four reasons why Econ is awesome:
- It’s easy to fall in love with the subject. Even though I didn’t come into teaching Econ with a bias against it, I didn’t remember everything from high school and I absolutely had not taken even one Econ class in college. So I had to learn alongside my students, often keeping just a day or two ahead of them in my understanding. But as time progressed I fell in love with how much understanding Economics can inform your daily life, decision-making process, and general way of seeing the world. Cost-benefit analyses and opportunity cost become part of your daily life and consideration. You’ll see incentives everywhere. And you know what? You’ll actually start to understand a lot more of what politicians are talking about when you watch the news. It’s great.
- You’ll never hear your students ask “why are we learning this?” Because it’s obvious. Every single topic makes sense and will allow your students to better understand themselves, their purchasing habits, the economy, and politics. If you’re lucky they might even start applying Economic concepts to their lives. I’ve had students tell me that they see the world differently and examine their choices more closely after taking my class. What more can my teacher heart ask for?!
- You have the opportunity to teach real life skills like personal finance. If it’s not taught elsewhere at your school, it belongs in the Econ classroom (in my humble opinion). I’ve written an entire blog series on this topic which you can find here. Suffice it to say, this can be life-changing stuff for your students…and prevent a lot of heartache for them later.
- It’s relevant. More than any subject taught at my school. From the personal decision making process in Unit 1 to the way prices are determined by the market in Unit 2 to how markets function and what businesses look like in Unit 3 to the macroeconomic concepts in Unit 4, all of it will enrich your students’ lives and understanding of the world. They’ll understand the dangers of trade wars, assess the current state of the economy, and read the signs of an impending recession. It’s all so good.
Looking for help on planning your first unit? Check out my series on creating unit plans. And let me know in the comments if you’ve got any questions about teaching this awesome subject! I’m so excited for you to get started 🙂