I have been extremely lucky during my academic career. I have had some of the best teachers on the face of the planet and many of them have made the subject that they teach a life long passion of mine. There is one teacher, in particular, who stands out in my mind while I write this blog. (For obvious reasons his name and school will not be disclosed.)
My 11th grade math teacher was one of the coolest guys I have ever met. Funny and engaging, he never failed to put an interesting spin on what we learned, and he was always willing to talk to students about what interested us. He was laid back enough that every one was comfortable with him, yet I never once saw him yield control of the class to unruly students.
He is the teacher who introduced me (and the entire class) to a book called “The Wealthy Barber.” A couple of the chapters were required reading, and he encouraged us to read the whole book. I did and fell in love with the subject of personal finances.
I’m not sure what the curriculum required him to teach us about finances (if anything at all), but I am sure that he took it a step further. We calculated simple and compound interest and applied it to real life situations such as car loans and mortgages. He taught us to use our graphing calculators to figure out the cost of saving for retirement (putting off saving for 10 years will cost me HOW much?) and how to calculate interest on a loan (what do you mean a mortgage is going to cost me $80,000 in interest?)
The subjects that he chose to teach us, as well as the links that he made to everyday life, have had a huge impact on how I deal with my finances. Because of his lessons, I have never carried consumer debt and my mortgage will be gone in a 6th of the time my bank expects. Since 16 years old, I have saved religiously for university, a house, and my retirement.
Coming from one of the neatest teachers in the school, these lessons held so much more weight then they would have coming from my parents. So thank you for your lessons, they have made my life all the easier.