This Is What We Do
Letter from the Executive Director
Whenever I meet someone new and get asked the inevitable “So, what do you do?” question, my answer is always the same. “I work at an organization that helps teachers teach economics and personal finance in Georgia.”
The two most common responses to my answer are typically “Oh, that’s great, we really need more of that in our schools” or “I wish I had learned more about those topics when I was in school.” As these conversations go a little deeper, I explain exactly what it is that we do to help teachers teach these critically important subject matters throughout Georgia.
Just imagine that you’ve been hired to teach a high school economics course and your background in economics is rather thin. Maybe you took one intro econ course your freshman year of college and what you learned in that course is a distant memory. In a matter of weeks, you’ll be standing in front of a classroom full of students wondering how you will effectively teach exchange rates, comparative advantage, supply and demand, compound interest, and many other economic concepts included in the state-mandated Georgia Standards of Excellence.
At this point, you’ve got few options. You can hit the panic button and lose a lot of sleep. You can assign your students endless amounts of boring “book work,” or you can attend Georgia Council workshops that have been designed to help teachers at all grade levels teach students in engaging and effective ways. By doing so, you will be better prepared to teach students economics and personal finance. What’s more, you’ll leave with multiple lesson plans and teaching materials that you can use in your classroom the very next day. Oh, and there will be no financial cost to you or your school system associated with attending these workshops.
When faced with this exact dilemma as I was getting started as an economics teacher, I quickly realized that the Georgia Council could be a lifesaver. I attended my first GCEE workshop in the fall of 1999 and the very next day my classroom truly came alive for the first time.
Fast forward 20 years and here I am helping teachers just like me become better educators. Since January 2019, we have trained 968 K-12 teachers in more than 60 workshops. During this time, we’ve introduced new workshops in globalization and assessment, as well as an online game to help middle and high school students hone their personal finance skills.
GCEE continues to help teachers prepare students to leave school with economic and financial literacy knowledge and skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. I am so very proud to be a part of this wonderful organization and of the meaningful work we continue to do throughout Georgia.
– Mike Raymer