Need an injection of inspiration? Travel to San Francisco in June, head to the high-tech Wharton San Francisco campus, and open your mind to new ideas, people and experiences.
Some 105 high school business, personal finance, entrepreneurship, accounting, math, economics and career & technical education educators did just that this week during the ninth Seminar for High School Educators on Business and Financial Responsibility. Sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Knowledge@Wharton High School, the three-day seminar helped primarily West Coast teachers from as nearby as the Bay Area and as far away as Utah, Texas and Hawaii, deepen their knowledge and resources related to personal finance and business.
Wharton professors and PwC executives presented on a wide variety of topics, including innovation, payday loans, financial planning hot topics, FinTech, leadership and emotional intelligence, and consumer personal finance. Breakout sessions introduced educators to PwC and KWHS resources in business and finance and gave teachers the opportunity to explore practical applications for the concepts they were learning.
Keynote speaker Adonal Foyle, former player for the Golden State Warriors NBA franchise, shared his personal compelling story of growing up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, rising to basketball stardom, and choosing financial literacy awareness and education as his ensuing life goal. You can learn more about Foyle’s book Winning the Money Game in this KWHS video interview.
As the seminar wrapped up Wednesday morning, attendees had the chance to reflect on their key takeaways and most memorable seminar experiences. “I’ve taught personal finance for 11 years and go to lots of conferences,” said Caroline Swank, a business teacher from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado. “This seminar took professional development to a whole new level. It was a real motivator. I’m excited to go back and ramp up my material and even take our classes one step further.”
The seminar was “a nice blend of industry expertise, educational expertise and resources,” added Amanda Davoli, an IB Business Management teacher from Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tenn. “That’s not something that typically happens in education professional development, which is often all about the classroom. This was a wake-up call for me concerning my own financial responsibility, especially the session on FinTech (financial technology). I’m excited to take what I learned back to our teacher team and our students.”
One of the greatest takeaways for many of the attendees was the relationship-building and extension of their own professional network. “The ability to network in a relaxed manner was huge,” noted Keeko Georgelas from Murray High School in Murray, Utah. “That one-on-one is very valuable. Learning and discussing the emerging trends help you know what to teach.”
As one teacher reflected, the group is returning home with “lots to chew on” as they prepare their business and finance lessons for the new year. For more information about the PwC-KWHS Seminar for High School Educators and specifically about this week’s program, visit http://kw.wharton.upenn.edu/sf-teachers-seminar-2016/. Direct your questions to KWHSSeminar@Wharton.upenn.edu.