Stories of Impact, Part 2: Connecting Lessons to Real-Life Circumstances

Post by: HSFPP

This blog is part 2 of our series of stories from our 2017  Jump$tart National Educator Conference scholarship winners. These stories of impact illuminate how financial education answers the “so what” question students often ask, and show how students can quickly connect what they are learning about personal finance to current and future circumstances and financial decisions.

Stories in This Blog

  • Teaching Students to Make Intentional Spending Decisions - Joey Running
  • Understanding How Today’s Choices Affect Tomorrow’s Lifestyle - Kim Biggerstaff
  • When Role Playing an Accident is No Longer Role Play - Danny Guidry
  • Financial Portfolios Help JROTC Cadets Plan for College - Dr. (MAJ) Kraig Kiehl
  • Applying Mathematics to “Real-Life” Financial Decisions – Persis Beaven

  • Teaching Students to Make Intentional Spending Decisions


    he Values and Spending Survey is sent home the first week of each semester… An explanation is given to not inquire about personal information such as wages or debt, but it is an opportunity for the students and their families to open the discussion of finances, money habits, values and goals. Family finances are, after all, “personal.” As a class, students share reactions, observations and takeaways.

    I promised we would discuss and make him aware of what type of spender/saver he was so that he could be more in-tune with why he was making those choices and how he could be more conscious of those decisions. The relief I saw in him was physical and emotional … his shoulders relaxed and I could sense he was ready to learn how his choices could prevent him from having the same spending habits as his brother.


    Joey Running
    High School Business Teacher, Albany, Ore.

    Understanding How Today’s Choices Affect Tomorrow’s Lifestyle


    y student had no concept of how to manage money. She intently listened in every class and asked questions during the first module of Money Management. After completing her spending habits and creating her SMART Goals she learned that her money was being spent on meaningless items. She then began to manage her money properly, and quickly saw how much money she could save; she set her sights on saving enough money to be putting some into a retirement fund (Roth IRA). She wanted to start it early so she could travel when she reached retirement age.

    A year after she graduated she came back and informed me she had been putting $2,000 in savings for the past two years, and would continue doing so until her retirement. She budgets and uses SMART Goals today. She is so excited that she was able to learn about money management and has set her sights on living moderately now, so she can definitely live the lifestyle she wants later. I am so proud they are learning this at such a young age.


    Kim Biggerstaff
    High School Business Teacher/Coach, Frisco, Texas

    When Role Playing an Accident is No Longer Role Play


    his story actually happened very recently. We are working in Module 6, which is the Insurance module. My students found this module really interesting with the role playing of what to do after an accident. Every student participated in the role play event, which is not the case sometimes. We did all this on a Thursday.

    On Monday, my student comes in and says, "Coach Guidry, you may have saved my family a lot of money. We were involved in a car accident this weekend and there was a big misunderstanding of what happened. The lady in the other car jumped out of her car screaming at my mom as if she had done something wrong, but she was simply turning left on a green light. The lady was demanding all this information, statements, and so on. My mom was so upset she couldn't get it together. I remembered our steps from class, so I just called 911, told my mom to come back to the car, and not to provide statements to her or anyone else until police arrived. We were able to get her information too."

    … I was very happy to find that in a moment of crisis … [this student] was able to remember this lesson and apply it to her life. This is what this program is all about: application of real-world issues in the classroom.


    Danny Guidry
    High School CTE Teacher/DECA Advisor, Granbury, Texas

    Financial Portfolios Help JROTC Cadets Plan for College


    am a JROTC instructor at Carson Long Military Academy. We actively use the NEFE resources and curriculum to provide robust financial education in our Leadership Education and Training Classes. I have taught the NEFE curriculum for the past three years and am thankful for the robust resources. Our cadets, hailing from all over the world, are exposed to the NEFE curriculum on a routine basis. I know that cadets are absorbing and understanding the NEFE material, typically by the end of the first semester, when I see them actively using SMART goal criteria to plan for financing their college educations. I am proud of our cadets and feel honored to watch them grow after learning the NEFE lessons and developing "living financial" portfolios that all cadets use to help them achieve their goals of attending college.


    Dr. (MAJ) Kraig Kiehl
    JROTC Senior Army Instructor, New Bloomfield, Pa.

    Applying Mathematics to “Real-Life” Financial Decisions


    y Financial Mathematics class was an elective course offered as a math credit; during this time I had many rewarding experiences in which students thanked me for teaching something that will apply to “real life”. The lessons that had more impact were the ones about student loans; they were described as eye opening. The class I taught during the 2016-2017 school year was an elective class with a group of 16 students; thanks to several resources such as the ones from HSFPP, my class has turned into a mandatory senior class.

    The progress of my students was documented via survey and video at the end of each semester, and all this helped in persuading my school principal to offer more sections of Financial Mathematics. I know the impact was shared around the school because 89 students had requested the class at the end of the fall semester. I am a strong advocate of teaching financial skills in the classroom, so I am more than pleased to have the opportunity to teach a class that will impact the lives of not only 16, but almost 100, students.


    Persis Beaven
    High School Math Teacher, El Paso, Texas

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