As the academic year closes, it is appropriate to shine the spotlight on educators. Their tireless work to improve the opportunities for today’s younger generation is critical and often underappreciated. EverFi employs many former teachers, and we take to heart the effort you expend to improve the trajectory of students’ lives. Though National Teacher Appreciation Week is in April, one week does not do justice to the work teachers do. As the commercial says, “we’ve got your 6,” and EverFi sends a heartfelt thank you.
This time of year, EverFi is often celebrating student certification alongside educators in classrooms and schools across the country; sponsors often host certification events to recognize student completion of one of EverFi’s critical life skill platforms. The past few weeks I was fortunate to celebrate with teachers at Evanston Township High School in Illinois, whose students completed the TCF Bank Financial Scholars Program, and at New Tech High School in Gary, Indiana where students were recognized for completing the BMO Harris Bank Financial Fluency for Students Program.
At the event, impassioned teachers talked about providing better opportunities for their students and new ways to personalize learning with our platforms. They mentioned that financial literacy is not an option or an extra curricular activity – it is required knowledge in the 21st century. It was obvious they felt an immense passion for their craft and were invested in their students from the sense of community and pride they exuded for their school.
Mrs. Jacobs of New Tech High School highlighted that when she learned she would be teaching a new finance course this quarter she started to dust off her college textbooks, and then EverFi and BMO Harris Bank introduced the BMO Harris Bank Financial Fluency for Students Program. At the celebration event, she recognized the work of all of her students, but made special note of a few students who juggled multiple projects and still got certified. One of the three student speakers, whose mom came to watch her receive her certificate, returned the praise and thanked Mrs. Jacobs for the work she does day in and day out, saying “I love you.”
At Evanston Township, the student speaker talked about how the Financing Higher Education module gave her a “clue” of how she would tackle the financial aid process. She too closed by thanking her teachers for working so hard to make sure she was prepared academically as well as for “real life.”
The certification events reminded me that many teachers are in the process of celebrating another accomplishment this time of year: high school graduation. For me, as a former teacher, it’s personal. I recently visited my former advisory in Chicago who I spent three years with prior to joining EverFi. It was great to see not only my former students, but also my old colleagues who have built one of highest performing, non-selective schools in Chicago. It reminded me that many educators across the country are currently celebrating a new journey that is about to begin in students’ lives. At my former school, the mission is for students to use their college degrees to make a positive, multi-generational change. Our work at EverFi resonates with that. We are helping make sure that students learn the critical skills they need to make it through college and life: financial literacy, digital literacy, and alcohol education to name a few. The pressure to do so often causes many young adults to veer off course. Without great teachers, students would never get off the starting line. If you are a educator, take a minute and pat yourself on back for the work that you do. If you are not an educator, find one, and pat them on the back for making sure students are prepared and inspired for years to come.
Teaching is often not easy, but it is necessary and changes lives. Teachers make the world a better place. It is tough to see our students move on, but so great to see where today’s millennials go. If you brought EverFi’s critical skill platforms to students this year, thank you for arming students with the critical knowledge they need as they venture off into a new chapter of their lives. At EverFi, we have only scratched the surface of reaching students across the country, but our journey continues in partnership with our schools, educators, and sponsors. Though teachers may only think about the students that they work with on a day-to-day basis, the education innovation you bring to your schools with our sponsors’ support has a ripple effect for generations to come. Remember, we are educators, and “we’ve got your 6.”