Mary Arnold, currently a fifth grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, Missouri, has been an educator for the past twenty-one years. Mary started her career as a seventh and eighth grade Math teacher, and then moved on to become an assistant principal, a principal, a division head of lower school and early childhood, and is now back in the classroom. For the past five years, Mary has used BizWorld with her fifth grade students, who say that the program is the highlight of their year.
This past school year, Mary taught BizWorld during the First National Entrepreneurship Week. She says that it was perfect timing as BizWorld teaches real world experiences and is not just a program run in school. “BizWorld teaches students about economics, and that supply and demand does mean something.” Every year Mary discusses with her students the importance of creating quality products, but inevitably one group just wants to produce, produce, produce. This year, like clockwork, the “company” that followed their prototype and were mindful of making quality products were the most profitable; whereas the group that was only concerned with manufacturing bracelets was left with tons and tons of bracelets. Mary loves the life lessons that BizWorld reinforces.
The students at Thomas Jefferson love how different the BizWorld curriculum is from their usual daily routine. As Mary explains, “They like that they actually get to make something during class and engage in discussions pertaining to the business world.” Mary goes on to say that her students don’t even realize that they are using their math and reading skills because they are so involved with their companies. “Can we stay in at recess to work on BizWorld?” is a request that Mary often hears. Mary will definitely teach BizWorld again next year, if only to hear those words.
BizWorld’s mission is to challenge and engage children across the cultural and economic spectrum through experiential learning programs that teach the basics of business, entrepreneurship, and money management and promote teamwork and leadership in the classroom.
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