Saturday, July 24, 2010

Make Yourself Scarce.

pics via Andy Smith who's been reading my mind!

This past week I attended a conference in Bismarck --Invest North Dakota Teacher Academy. Because it was held at University of Mary, I got to experience the college dorm room all over again. I can't say I've missed it. :)

After every session my brain felt full to bursting. Conference topics ranged from looking at economics in the elementary classroom to diversifying your own financial assets. At every turn we were offered free resources, curriculum, websites, suggestions, games, ideas, and the latest laws and good-to-know-facts about everything from the most simple wants/needs concepts to exploring the benefits of a Roth IRA versus a Traditional IRA. We learned about protecting ourselves from fraud and scams and what do to if we are exposed so suspicious activity. We learned about the stock market and about bonds and about the new credit card laws. We even had a representative from our pension plan --TFFR--Teachers Fund for Retirement--talk about some of the potential changes and its impacts. I left with more motivation to share some of this knowledge with the loved ones in my life. Even helping students to understand the power of compounding interest and creating a realistic budget would be a great start.

And one final thought that blew me away... some of the most successful people don't work for anyone. They are entrepreneurs. Are we giving students the tools they need so that entrepreneurship is an option? I heard this message again and again throughout the week. Dr. John Hail, professor Missouri State University said, "When your students ask you what is the secret to success, tell them the following. Think of yourself as a resource. Now, make yourself scarce." Be able to do something no one else can.

Susan Beacham reminded us of the importance of being able to "delay gratification" and that we need to live BELOW our means, not within it. In one of her sessions she talked about how to live like a millionaire-- as people who are disciplined, who work hard, are patient, persistent, frugal, charitable. They budget, have good social skills, supportive spouses, love what they do-- are passionate about their work. They use their resources, time, talent, energy and money to survive and really thrive. Four of five millionaires are college graduates and yet 3/4 of all millionaires are self employed--they aren't getting a degree to "get a job." But I think that statistic still speaks to hard work, education, and delaying gratification. It speaks to being passionate about what you do and not holding back.

Seth Willis of Greeley Colorado presented about using the Internet in the classroom and I loved his use of literary quotes to support his theories--hey I am an English teacher, after all.

Dr. Debra Peppers provided humor and inspiration and echoed another reminder that excellent teachers can surprise students, keep things fresh, and truly care. The right word at the right time can change a life. Who would think that at an investment conference I would be moved to tears multiple times during her session? She was a powerful presenter.

I can't recommend this workshop enough. I don't even teach personal finance in school or any family and consumer science classes or economics and I still left motivated and excited about my charge as a teacher of young people who need to be prepared for the world before them.


E.Louise said...

Wow no wonder your brain was bursting! Sounds great and I love that 'make yourself scarce' line.

Carm said...

It was a busy week, but good in many ways!


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