Welcome to the 17th episode of The High School Business & Personal Finance Teachers Podcast hosted by Knowledge Matters. This episode of the podcast features an interview with Bridgette Wilkins, Business Teacher at Pearland High School in Pearland, Texas.
The High School Business & Personal Finance Teachers Podcast hosted by Knowledge Matters interviews teachers about how they got started teaching, tips and tricks for teaching business, marketing, and personal finance to high school students, and how teachers use Virtual Business simulations in their classrooms.
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Jeff Rutherford (Marketing Director at Knowledge Matters):
Welcome back to the high school business and personal finance teachers podcast brought to you by knowledge matters. This is the podcast where we talk to high school business, personal finance and marketing teachers about their teaching careers and tips and tricks they have for teaching business and personal finance to high school students.
A Career in Business, Adjunct Teaching at a Local College, and Then Teaching High School Business
Today, we’re speaking with Bridgette Wilkins, a business teacher at Pearland High School in Pearland, Texas, Bridgette, welcome to the podcast.
Bridgette Wilkins: Hi, thanks for having me.
Jeff: Sure. Can you tell us about your path to becoming a business teacher?
Bridgette: I have over 20 years of business experience from nonprofits to financial services - pretty much the gamut.
I had started to do adjunct teaching at a local university. And I was wondering how the information was being processed with college students, because there seem to be an interesting thing happening with critical thinking skills. And I couldn’t quite get it, what was going on there.
A friend of mine suggested teaching high school and I thought, okay, that sounds like something great to do. I’ll still be in education, and now I’m at K-12 as well as a university setting. And so I went ahead started teaching high school. So that’s how I ended up teaching high school and teaching business classes.
Jeff: What classes do you currently teach?
Bridgette Wilkins: Currently, I teach career preparation, which is also known as co-op and I teach business information management.
Canvas LMS Was Key to Pivoting To Remote During the Pandemic
Jeff: Did your teaching and job change in the spring with the pandemic?
Bridgette: We pivoted really, really quick.
The benefit that I had is that I’d already started using and implementing my classroom learning management system. I didn’t have a huge learning curve to learn the LMS to make it work for the students.
My students already knew how to upload assignments, go and find the assignments and what modules look like in our LMS system.
That piece became less stressful for me because I’d already prepared my students for using the LMS system.
Click now for a Virtual Business quote for your high school
Jeff: What LMS do you use at your school?
Bridgette: We use Canvas.
Jeff: How is your school year going so far? Are you doing remote or hybrid or a combination?
Bridgette: We’re doing a combination.
Electives have an option to be asynchronous with remote learners or to be synchronous with the remote learners during the time that the class is meeting.
I chose to keep my remote students asynchronous and then my face-to-face students are taught in class.
Our first two weeks we started, it was a hybrid situation. We had those who signed up for face-to-face come one day a week based on their alpha and then four days remote for the first two weeks. Then the second two weeks, they came two days a week based on alpha and the other three days were remote.
So today is our first day of all of our face-to-face students coming to school all at one time.
Jeff: Do you use the textbooks with your classes or how do you decide on the curriculum?