Financial Language

The month of February 2020 was a whirlwin. My wife and I welcomed Clara Evelynn-Rose (our fourth child) into our lives in late January and life has been a pleasant, sleep-deprived, whirlwind these last several weeks.

Celebrating this new birth has reminded me how much family and the circumstances of our upbringing shapes our view on multiple things. This can include the trivial like cereal – shortly into my marriage I learned when my wife said to get some cereal at the store she meant something granola or grape nutty; however, when I heard cereal my mind went to chocolate and marshmallows. It can also include more serious topics such as money. Another personal example – my family did not discuss finances or money a lot growing up whereas my wife’s family was much more open in discussing these matters. We had to learn to overcome this disconnect and it was not always easy. It is hard to change someone’s financial habits and financial language. It requires a commitment and a desire to change by the one making the change.

I bring this up to remind you that each of your students has their own backstory with money. They come into your classroom already shaped by a decade and a half, or more, of history shaping their financial language and financial habits. Be mindful of this. Try varying approaches in your pedagogy. Remember your students have other voices in their lives impacting the knowledge and skills you are attempting to impart. You have the power to change the course of every student’s life. Meet them where they are to make this a reality!