I was very honored and super excited to be selected as a 2018 NGPF Summer Institute Fellow! (full list of fellows here)
I traveled to Palo Alto, CA to meet the other 11 fellows in the July cohort. We all became fast friends over a very generous and hearty dinner at Nola. The next morning we were up bright and early to begin our financial literacy professional development training! What followed were 2 1/2 days of workshops, discussions, interactive learning, a field trip to the d.school at Stanford University, a Bay cruise, guest speaker Meir Statman from Santa Clara University, just a “little” bit of fun, and even a celebrity sighting that made this Boston gal happy (Mark Wahlberg!).
It’s hard to narrow down the highlights of this experience because everything was so wonderful. But I’ll pick my top three:
Design Thinking Workshop at Stanford’s d.school: We participated in the Gift Giving Experience design-thinking challenge! What a great chance to go through the whole process. It was fun, fast-paced, and frustrating at times. I felt like my partner and I really learned a lot about the process and about each other. He designed me a fabulous “machine” that would help me see the perfect gift experience to provide for friends and family members. I made him a breakout box prototype that he can create to “hide” gifts in to provide a meaningful experience for gifts that needed a delivery vessel. I loved this activity and am thinking of ways to modify it for use in my Entrepreneurship class. Here are some resources for the activity from the d.school: design thinking projects and challenges | great visuals | materials list
Financial Literacy Curriculum: After being exposed to even more awesome NGPF curriculum (specifically the semester course), I’m re-thinking how I deliver my own Personal Finance course. The way that NGPF lays out the topics in the semester course just makes sense. From the site, “This course will cover the following topics in order: Career, Taxes, Checking, Saving, Paying for College, Types of Credit, Managing Credit, Investing, Insurance, Budgeting.” As explained to us, the topics are introduced in the logical order in which a student would actually experience them in life. DING! DING! What have I been doing all along? Why didn’t I think of that? That makes complete sense? I had blindly been following other curriculum orders that didn’t really make sense to me but I never changed them. Wow. I will be re-ordering my units this semester to follow this. I already incorporate a lot of NGPF lessons in my course, but I will be shifting to even more this year. Stay tuned!
A year-long PLC: I am thrilled to be working with NGPF and the fellows throughout the upcoming school year! As financial literacy educators, enthusiasts, and advocates, we all have the same passion for the cause. Each one of us is a #FinHero and wants to see financial literacy become a requirement for students across the country. We’ll be working together to write blogs posts, advocate for increasing financial literacy education, improve curriculum, present at conferences and workshops, provide feedback on new tools, participate in new initiatives like microcredentialing, and so much more. Meeting the other eleven fellows this summer has been such an honor! I am so happy that I have been able to connect with them and add them to my inner circle of colleagues and friends!
Thank you so much to all of the amazing people at NGPF! Your generosity, hospitality, and dedication to teachers and education for ALL students is just beyond words. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities you have provided for me and promise to pay it forward to my students and colleagues!