The Path Forward: NGPF Committed to Supporting Teachers In the Transition to Teaching Remotely

Mar 23, 2020
Teaching Strategies

Imagine waking up one morning and learning that the job you have held for 1, 5, 10, 20 or 40 years was fundamentally changing. Oh and you would need to adapt your practices after just two  days of training in these new methods. Also, at the same time you would need to take necessary precautions to protect you and your family's health from a pandemic. Yet, that is where we all stand today. 

A monumental challenge for sure but what the NGPF team has seen over the past few weeks has been nothing short of heroic. Since March 1st (just 22 days ago), teachers have invested more than 4,000 hours participating in our Virtual PDs. At our first Virtual Learning Conference this past Saturday,  more than 700 teachers invested 1900+ hours collaborating with other teachers, brainstorming solutions and exchanging best practices. The breakout rooms in Zoom were full of positivity, earnestness and an appreciation for the importance of this work. Let's face it the speed and magnitude of this economic decline is unprecedented. We all recognize the months ahead will be challenging for you and your students. Yet, your conviction has grown ever stronger that this course, personal finance, clearly has never been more important and that's what drives you forward. 

So, what are our plans in the months ahead? It's actually quite simple to explain: we will continue to listen to you and tailor resources and virtual PDs to make this transition to teaching remotely a successful one for you and your students. As many of you know, we made the incredibly difficult decision recently to cancel our in-person events including 18 FinCamps and 25 FinCamp PLUS events scheduled for this summer due to concerns stemming from the Coronavirus. That's the bad news as we will miss those in-person interactions as much as you do. The good news is that after thousands of hours of virtual PDs, teachers now rate them on par with our in-person events. 

So, here's how we are moving forward to support you:

  • Doubling our online PD to deliver 4 virtual PDs per day. Last week was our first at these service levels and we saw tremendous demand averaging 80 teachers per session with several attracting over 200! 
  • Adding new Virtual PDs focused on Teaching Remotely [we recently added beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for several of these workshops too]
    • Transitioning to Online Learning
    • Using Google Classroom + NGPF
    • Using NearPod + NGPF
  • Shifting the focus of the NGPF Blog and Podcasts to this theme of teaching remotely. We will share best practices, resources that work well (including non-tech) and different teaching models. Yesterday, NGPF Fellows, Brian Page and Amanda Volz, wrote this post "10 Practical Tips for Teaching Remotely," which has already been shared hundreds of times. 
  • Developing new virtual PD models beyond our standard one-hour sessions today including:
    • FinCamp 2020: Virtual Version: We take our in-person FinCamp and bring it to you virtually. This all-day (7 hour) workshop will help you deepen your content knowledge, expand your network with multiple opportunities to collaborate and help you find resources that will work in a virtual or in-person environment. 
    • Virtual Learning Conference: our inaugural event this Saturday showed the appeal of a conference where teachers had choice (3 different sessions/hour) and where they could attend just one session up to ten sessions. What was particularly gratifying to see was the large number of teachers who registered for more sessions on the day of the conference. Stay tuned for the announcement of our next Virtual Conference. 
  • On the curriculum front, the team is excited to deliver the first set of middle school lessons in April. 

Your optimism, commitment to your students and eagerness to learn new approaches inspires us to do more every day. Please keep sending us your ideas on how to support you. We remain confident that even in this challenging environment, together we can provide students with the financial education they need and deserve. Thank you! 

The NGPF Team

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.