One of the benefits of being a teacher? Summer vacation! Well, kind of — just because many students have the summer off doesn’t mean that teachers necessarily get to kick back with an Arnold Palmer and a stack of paperbacks.
Instead, summers, for teachers, are often filled with all sorts of career-related activities. Maybe a conference or two. Classes. Continuing education stuff — there’s an entire world of things to keep teachers busy, as you all are well aware.
But for teachers who may be facing the prospect of teaching or otherwise leading classes centered around personal finance and financial literacy, summer can also be a time to bone up on your own personal knowledge of the subject. It’s a tough nut to crack, for many, as we all have our own struggles with finances. It’s a dense, difficult subject. But it can be worth the investment in our own time to try and get up to speed, so that we can not only get our own finances in order, but effectively teach it, too.
That doesn’t mean you need to trudge through textbooks all summer, however. Instead, you can try to get a well-rounded bout of exposure to the subject. With that in mind, we’ve put together some summer suggestions to read, watch, or listen to. In effect, you can think of this as a sort of financial summer school for teachers!
Of course, we also think you should check out Money Vehicle — which is a high school hit for several reasons!
But if you want to spend the summer deepening your financial knowledge, here are some suggestions to get you started.
What to read
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
You’ve likely heard of this one — it’s the inside story of the guys who saw the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 coming, and positioned themselves accordingly. If you’re still trying to figure out what the heck happened all those years ago (and we’re still living with the consequences!), this is worth a read.
The Lords of Easy Money by Christopher Leonard
Another book that’s particularly pertinent to our current circumstances, this one explains how the Federal Reserve works, and how its role in the post-Great Recession economy led us to a time of high inflation and soaring stock markets.
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
It’s important to learn to think about money, just as it is to learn how to use it. The Psychology of Money delves into how we think about it, and our behaviors surrounding money. It’s complex, but can help shed some serious light on our complicated relationship with money.
What to watch
Yes, it’s dated (and there was a sequel that came out after the financial crisis that’s worth watching), but this 1980s hit stars Michael Douglas as a high finance guy who utters the famous phrase “greed is good.” A young Charlie Sheen plays his foil — it’s an interesting inside look at Wall Street, or at least a certain time period on Wall Street.
If you want to get angry, this is the movie that’ll do it. It’s actually a documentary about the financial crisis in 2008, and helps piece it all together in a relatively easy-to-follow way. Again, this will help you not only understand what happened 15 years ago, but how it relates to our current economic and financial troubles.
While not focused on money per se, The Corporation does help add some context as to how our financial system works by dissecting a corporate entity. It’s also spawned a sequel.
What to listen to
We’ll make this one easy on you: You can check out some audiobooks, perhaps the audio versions of the books listed above. Or, maybe give some of our recommended financial podcasts a try.
Check out the Money Vehicle textbook — you can find it here on Amazon. And if you like what you see, you can get more content sent directly to your inbox! Sign up for the Money Vehicle Movement Newsletter!
And check out our white paper: “Strategies for Increasing Financial Literacy Rates Among High School and College Students”
More from Money Vehicle: