Building Life-Long Skills: Using a Classroom Financial System

by Chester Weaver

How do you manage the little infractions that test your classroom discipline? How do you organize school chores? Teach money management skills? Choose year-end gifts?

Chester Weaver describes the method he has adapted from Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire. Although it seemed complicated at first, Chester says the system actually saves him work and effectively accomplishes a number of goals. A financial system will not be appropriate for every classroom, but Chester says this approach can be customized to fit your situation.

Watch the video, then leave a comment: what have you found to be effective in classroom management?

Download sample documents from Chester’s system or view them below.

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CONTRIBUTOR: Chester Weaver

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  • I also read the book Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, and I highly recommend it, but I have several deep concerns about the degree to which a financial system (as detailed in that book and in Chester’s video ) should be used in our schools.
    First of all, it is purely extrinsic motivation. That alone should wave red flags in any teacher’s mind.
    Secondly, it encourages the one attitude which Jesus warned against more than almost any other – materialism.
    Thirdly, this can become one more system which rewards overachievers and humiliates students with learning challenges.
    I can see that a system like this one could have application in our schools. Students DO need to learn how to handle money. My suggestion is to use this system in a limited fashion, as a system which strictly teaches about financial responsibilities, not as one which ties other behaviors (such as disrespect) to financial outcomes.

    • Thanks for your comments, Walter!

      I appreciate your suggestion for limited use of a system like this, and your warnings about relying on external motivators.

      It is true that students will find that, after they graduate, their financial fortunes will rise and fall based partially on behaviors such as disrespect and faithfulness.

      You also raised a concern about humiliating students who are gifted in nonacademic areas. This seems like an important issue. I’m curious how teachers who use a system of rewards deal with that issue.