We recently sat down with Tabitha Herrin, a teacher at Stewarts Creek Middle School in Smyrna, TN, to hear how she uses EVERFI’s resources in her classroom. This is part of our Teacher Spotlight series.
What impact have EVERFI’s courses had on your students?
A parent told me that a student who used EVERFI Financial Literacy in my class helped his older brother with his FAFSA form! I love hearing stuff like that.
I’ve also seen the impact of Healthy Relationships and Ignition – both hone in on all of the issues of this middle school age. Students connect with the courses on a personal level and really enjoy them.
What do you like best about the programs?
They fit around my curriculum so well. Also, they are very up to date. The kids don’t think it looks like something from the 80s or 90s – it’s very engaging for them.
What is your approach to implementation?
I use a half and half method – 10 students will get on the computers and the rest of the class will go through our written curriculum. We alternate back and forth each day.
What best practices would you share with other teachers?
- I have new students every 9 weeks, so I created a PPT that has the login info on it. I also print off a paper version of the instructions that I put at their desks. The login process happens during one class period. Because of the half and half method, students may only get on the computers twice a week, but all will cycle through. They are welcome to work on it outside the classroom as well. Their EVERFI grade is their main grade. Their username & password is their login information. That way, they can remember it year after year and just add their course code for each year.
- I planned an engagement activity for Venture (the entrepreneurship course where students create their own food truck business). I reached out to several food trucks in the area and invited them to come to the school. It was a great way to support the local food trucks and provide an additional incentive to students who completed their business plan.
- Another activity I created is”The World’s Largest Party with Ignition.” Once students finish Ignition, they apply what they’ve learned about how to use technology by planning a party for a country of their choosing – they love it! They have to research basic facts about the country. The population of the country is the attendance; the theme of the party is the native dress; famous landmarks are the venue. Students create a PPT and do a presentation at the very end. We also bring in the food aspect, and students have to make at least one recipe for the class. It takes about 2 class periods to do. It brings in a lot of excitement, and combines many aspects of what they’ve learned in Ignition including technology and research, and it helps them learn more about different cultures and practice their presentation skills.
Do you have any advice for other teachers considering using EVERFI?
Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the resources! Try it out with one class/program, or do one program for all of your grade levels until you can get familiar with it and get your lesson plans done. Once you’ve done it all the first time, EVERFI makes life so much easier!! Eventually, you can get to have a course per grade level.
Anything else you’d like to share about the program?
The customer support is amazing! If I have an issue or am having problems, I send an email and my Schools Manager connects me to the tech team and they help immediately. By the end of the class period I get a response back. Having that support is great! They even partnered up with my tech specialist at the school and we figured out how to fix a problem I was having. The support is probably one of my favorite aspects.
Tabitha, thank you for your commitment to equipping students with critical life skills!