Blog written by Meredith Starr of Apex Home Loans and posted by Anais Eslami.
On March 4th I spent the day in a place I hadn’t been in years (and truthfully never thought I’d be back in) – a 6th grade classroom. I was there in support of “Junior Achievement”, a great organization that is dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship.
My colleagues at Apex Home Loans and I spent the day teaching 6th graders at North Bethesda Middle School all about financial literacy. Most of my friends and family would probably say something along the lines of “How can you teach them anything about that,” but in reality it was pretty simple.
Calm before the Storm
Junior Achievement did an incredible job of providing me and my colleagues with training materials before the big day. Amanda from JA joined us for an hour and half training session where we discussed best practices to working with the children. We also went through the activities we would be administering, and our general thoughts around the day and what we hoped to get out of it. In total I would say pre-day prep took us about 4 hours.
Truthfully I was super nervous day of and kept questioning how I would be able to relate or get through to these kids. I felt a lot of pressure to get the messages across in a way that made them stick, because of how valuable I felt the lessons were. Multiple times in prepping I found myself saying, “I wish I had learned that earlier in life.” Especially when we discussed paying ourselves first, and ensuring you have a solid savings to fall back on if needed.
My classroom partner and I split up the 5 lessons and everything went off without a hitch. The students at North Bethesda Middle School were great, even if they made me feel super old. We were at the school from 7:30 am – 1:30 pm, and honestly I’m not sure I could have lasted any longer. Even though the experience overall was great, it was quite an exhausting day. I appreciate teachers in a whole other light now. My favorite part of the day was when a student came to personally thank me, and even showed interest in my career path. I felt like at least for one kid, I made a difference.
If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest you check out Junior Achievement and the great strides they make for the youth and future of our community. Anyone interested in participating in JA in a Day as an individual, or any organizations looking to give back in a meaningful way can contact Amanda Parsley (Amanda.Parsley@ja.org).