NGPF Celebrates: Jonathan Toczynski, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School (NJ)
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2015, NGPF is celebrating the hard work and commitment to personal finance education exhibited by our nation’s teachers by featuring just a few members of our NGPF educator community.
Featured Teacher: John Toczynski, Business Teacher & Boys Varsity Basketball Assistant Coach
School: John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, Iselin, New Jersey
What is your favorite part of teaching personal finance?
My favorite part of teaching personal finance is when students come up to me and say how they now can understand their paystub from their current job, or how they were able to write out a check and a deposit slip from learning so in my class. It is a joy to hear from my students how they applied very important concepts, which everyone needs to understand, in their personal lives.
If you had to give a first year personal finance teacher one piece of advice, what would it be?
A piece of advice I can give a first year personal finance teacher is to relate as much back to your life and to what the students are going through. For example, when I cover financing higher education, I always note to talk about when I applied and the college loans I have. On the topic of down payment, I relate it back to prom. Relating the topic back to the students and also the area that they live in helps with their understanding.
What’s been your greatest accomplishment as a personal finance teacher?
A special moment occurred when my classes were completing the Cost of Living Project, and a student of mine came to me and said this was one of the best projects they could complete because of the relevance behind it. It was great to hear and this project was something that clicked for this student and helped them improve throughout the rest of the course.
Jonathan was one of our Financial Literacy Month Contest winners! Click here to learn more about the award winning project he created with a colleague! It involves budgeting and using spreadsheets — two of our favorites at NGPF!
About the Author
When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.