It may look like a science or social studies lesson, but teaching life skills through money management is part of everyday learning in Maggie Davenport’s sixth grade class in the Cotter School District.
As she concluded her lecture on dissecting a cow’s eyeball, she launched into the mini-economy lessons of her classroom. “It’s not all about standards being taught, but preparing students to be successful in the real world,” Davenport said.
In her classroom, students use fake money to learn about becoming financially responsible adults. “They earn money for being at school, being prepared, being good in class and doing respectful things around school,” she said.
Students earn salaries from $2 to a$5 weekly in their professions such as librarian, photographer, Chromebook caretaker, and banker. With the salary, they pay for items, and also pay rent and fines. Davenport wants them to learn to be respectful and be rewarded, so that it will “hopefully instill in them that it is a good thing, and they should continue it throughout their life.”
Students apply for the classroom jobs. Davenport judges each applicant based on their abilities and the criteria for the job.