I teach Journalism to high school students and my classroom experiences have taught me "mucho" about money. It's been a valuable experience and teaching has changed my life.
Here's a short overview about the financial lessons I've acquired in the classroom:
1) Have a Plan: Kids have a sixth sense for an unprepared teacher. Chaos results from a lackluster or missing lesson plan. The failure to plan creates a plan for failure (to borrow an old saying).
The same goes for my money. I need written goals and strategies as much as I need a lesson plan in the classroom. With a concrete plan, I have an outline for success.
2. Be Disciplined. Students and teachers thrive on discipline. Even a free-form writing workshop needs structure and a format.
My financial performance also needs formulas and patterns. Discipline means checking the bank account (online) every night or paying the utility bill on the same day of each month.
One organizational guru recommends setting up a workstation for each of the routine chores: A bill-paying station, a home-banking desk, a tax corner.
3. Prepare for the Unexpected: As a journalism teacher, I rely on newspapers and magazines to teach my course. But what if the publications don't arrive or if the Internet connection is down? By trial and error, I've learned the importance of having a backup plan in the classroom. I now show up with extra lessons, worksheets and ideas as just-in-case options.
4. Tap into Extra Income: Most teachers don't make six-figure incomes, so it's important to have a diversified stream of income. I've met teachers at different schools in our region, who wear a variety of extra-curricular hats from real estate sales to coaching.
Likewise, I've made a big financial push to diversify my income. The old cliche is true: There's safety in numbers.
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