For the last few years I have tried to make apoint of taking one afternoon or morning each academic year and meeting with Melani’s students. Although I enjoy the enthusiasm I am usually met with by the class, I would admit to being slightly intimidated at the prospect of holding the attention of 20 nine year-olds for a full 20 – 30minutes. Indeed, as many of you know, I often struggle with holding the attention of an adult – let alone a precocious 4thgrader! I am also realistic in my understanding the true basis of their enthusiasm. It is not so much that I am some dynamic and exciting speaker as the fact that I am merely a deviation from their daily routine.
Regardless, I was really impressed with her students this year. Melani asked me to come in to her class last month, explaining that in Social Studies they had just covered the beginning of the New York Stock Exchange and the Buttonwood Agreement and that the students had a lot of questions about stocks. I was amazed at the level of interest from the students. I used some Popsicle sticks and an analogy of ownership in a lemonade stand to illustrate the concept of a stock and the students really latched on. They had an abundance of insightful questions, and before I knew it I had been there for over and hour and Melani had to kick me out! (She literally pushed me out while claiming they had to cover something silly like English or something….) Here I was imparting the secrets of financial prosperity to her students and she was more concerned about them being able to identify a proper noun! OK – maybe I exaggerate about circumstances surrounding my departure a little – but it really was a wonderful experience for me and I came away with a greater respect and appreciation for what my wife does on a daily basis. It was also a rewarding to have had the opportunity to engage such vibrant and inquisitive young minds for the better part of an afternoon.
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