This Teacher Decides To Teach Kids About Finance Using A Classroom Economy System But Not Everyone Likes It (Picture)

 A teacher’s job is a very responsible one as they are the ones that shape a student, give them knowledge and impact their view on certain things. Often people choose this profession knowing that they really want to do it, as it is not easy dealing with kids, let alone making them learn when all they want to do is play.

And because they are so passionate about their work, they try to make the learning experience both educational and fun. One of those teachers is Mr. Vuong, who implements a token economy system into his lessons to teach the students about how finances in the real world work.

This teacher went viral for sharing how he teaches his students about rent

Image credits: teamvuong

People often joke around that they never use the math formulas they learnt at school in real life and they wish they’d been educated on how to pay taxes. So Mr. Vuong is doing just that and shared his methods on TikTok. One of the videos went quite viral and got 3.6 million news, but it seems that people had varying opinions on this.

His method includes rewarding his students with made-up money, Brain Bucks, and making them pay monthly desk rent

Mr. Vuong is a fourth and fifth-grade teacher who “prioritizes social-emotional learning and equity.” He shares some of his experience as a teacher on his TikTok account. In the viral video, he explains that because it’s the last Friday of the month, it means that his students will have to pay rent for their desk. The rent is 15 Brain Bucks, which the children earn during the school day for being responsible, participating in class discussions and other things.

If the students have any Brain Bucks left, they can spend them on a treasure chest that the teacher has in his class or they can save up the money to wait until they have enough of it to spend on a treasure trove where the more expensive things are. Another option is to save up all the extra money and pay 75 Brain Bucks to ‘purchase’ the desk and in that case, the students wouldn’t have to pay rent every month.

If the students have extra money left, they can spend it on various goodies

Image credits: teamvuong

After hearing about this token economy system, some people were impressed and others thought that this kind of exercise is too traumatizing for the children and creates unnecessary stress at a young age. After hearing all the concerns, the teacher made a follow-up video explaining his method in a little bit more detail. So first of all, if a student doesn’t have money to pay their rent, Mr. Vuong won’t take away their desk and will not shame the kids for not being able to pay.

If the student doesn’t have money to pay rent, they don’t get their desk taken away, because the teacher understands that what he does is not real

Image credits: teamvuong

Mr. Vuong said he tries to find out why the student doesn’t have enough money and if it is because of reasons they can control, for example, they spent too much on the treasure chest, the teacher will talk with the student and see this as an opportunity to learn about budgeting. Also, he always gives opportunities to earn extra money with a small late fee, so it is really about learning financing and not experiencing the stress of an adult.

If the student doesn’t have money left for rent because of other reasons, like not being in school because of health or their parents couldn’t bring them to school, then Mr. Vuong deprioritizes the rent as real-life things are more important than participating in a made-up economy. He fully recognizes that it is fake and just a teaching tool.

Mr. Vuong explains that this is only an educational game to prepare the students for what is coming when they grow up

Image credits: teamvuong

There are various things for which students can get Brain Bucks so they have plenty of opportunities to earn and the teacher keeps track of it in an app

Image credits: teamvuong

People were also curious to know whether the teacher takes away money as punishment, and the truth is that the system is for positive reinforcement and not punishment. After hearing some feedback from viewers, Mr. Vuong decided to add sick days and personal time off because you get those in real life too and because work, or in this case, school, shouldn’t be more important than personal well-being. He also is considering adding insurance just to make the game even more realistic.

Another thing to point out is that the teacher doesn’t give Brain Bucks to children if they are doing things just to receive them. It is always when they least expect it and he believes that this way, the children feel even more rewarded. The money should be just like a cherry on top. He explains that when you eat an ice cream sundae, it is still good without the cherry, but it makes the ice cream just a little better.

Here you can see the viral video for yourself

@teamvuong#Capitalism but… #teachersoftiktok #teachersfollowteachers #teachertip #realworldproblems #tokeneconomy #payrent #elementary #reallifeskills♬ original sound – Mr. Vương

Video credits: teamvuong

What do you think about Mr. Vuong’s method of teaching children financial literacy? Do you agree with the people who say that children should learn these things and know what to expect when they grow up and inevitably will be made to pay rent, taxes, know how days off work, etc. Or do you side with people who say that children should be protected from such serious topics at a young age, so that they can just be happy and worry-free? We are curious to know what your take is!

People had mixed reactions to the token economy system and these are some of their reactions

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