In the Beginning
Seven years ago seems like just weeks ago to me. When I think of it from a classroom standpoint though, I’m almost shocked at all of the experiences I’ve been fortunate (and even unfortunate at times) to have seen during my near decade-long adventure in the classroom.
In seven years, I’ve seen technologies go from innovative to dull. Companies that specialize in educational solutions start up, then disappear. Attitudes shift from “that will never work” to “I still can’t believe that that was such a game changer!”
For seven years, I’ve changed so much as a person and as a teacher. My strategies and tools have changed drastically over the years. Rarely does anything stay relevant in education to last even five years, much less nearly a decade. EVERFI was a software that I used my first year teaching because, like many, I saw the need for my students to spend valuable academic time building skills in both the academic and life skill arenas.
At the time, it was a digital platform for students to learn and engage in financial literacy concepts. What I didn’t realize at the time is that EVERFI would become the company that I would compare all other educational companies to from there on out. Why? Because as the weeks turned into months and the school years started to chase by, EVERFI continued to serve as a beacon for instruction in critical skill areas like financial literacy, digital literacy, STEM career awareness, and even social/emotional learning. It gave solutions to teachers in all of these areas and more while maintaining their promise to always be free to every teacher and to every classroom.
Teacher Ambassador Summit
In July of 2018, EVERFI brought together eight (out of the twelve) educators from across the country to serve as ambassadors for their first ever Teacher Ambassador Summit at the company’s headquarters in Washington D.C. After meeting many of the staff that serve in the brain of the EVERFI network, there’s no question why the company stays on the cutting edge of both quality and development. We shared our experiences, philosophies, triumphs, and challenges from our classrooms and they listened intently to our stories. The idea that the stories of my adventure with my students would somehow shape future experiences for hundreds of thousands of other children brought a great sense of pride and accomplishment to me as well as others in our group.
It’s my hope that EVERFI continues to bring teachers into their home as well as continues to elevate teachers and the mission of putting the needs of our students first. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for EVERFI and their future Teacher Ambassadors!
Capital City Adventures
Washington D.C. is one of my favorite places. It never ceases to amaze me how much history and opportunity is at every street corner. After finishing up an incredible two days with EVERFI, I decided to treat myself to a few days touring the capital with an open mind and no agenda.
I was able to meet up with some awesome Space Camp friends, which is always a wonderful bonus when traveling to places around the United States. Scooters have become quite popular around the city, and before I knew it, I was sipping around the city, taking in all of the sites and soaking in all of the atmosphere and culture.
Lisa, a newly discovered cousin, was generous enough to serve as an unofficial tour guide to the city for me. She shared story after story that captivated me the entire evening. Suffice it to say that I am leaving Washington D.C. with a new appreciation for history.
Seeing Hamilton: An American Music in Chicago was incredible. Seeing it in Washington D.C. took it to a whole new lever for me! Thanks, Trevor, for connecting me to that opportunity!
My takeaways from the EVERFI Teacher Ambassador Summit and Washington D.C: always be ready to share your passion with others, you’re never too old to forge new relationships with others, and never throw away your shot!