What is Your Teaching Style?

Every teacher has a distinctive style that will hopefully engage students in the learning process and help them develop critical thinking skills.  As traditional teaching styles are adapted to meet the needs of varied students, consider these five main classroom strategies:

  1. Authority, or lecture style, is teacher-centered and may be appropriate for certain topics and settings. However, little or no interaction with the teacher may limit learning effectiveness.
  1. Demonstrator, or coach style, allows teachers show key concepts with the use of lectures, visuals, media, and exhibits. This approach may be difficult to implement in larger classrooms.
  1. Facilitator, or activity style, promotes self-learning and develops critical thinking skills, such as training students to ask questions and obtain skills to find answers.
  1. Delegator, or group style, provides opportunities for guided discovery and problem-based learning. The teacher serves as an observer role with students working toward a common goal.
  1. Hybrid, or blended style, offers an integrated approach to coordinate the personality of the teacher with the interests and needs of students.

Most important, is the engagement of students in the learning process along with a teaching style to address the needs of diverse students.

For additional information on teaching styles, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students to describe learning environments that were most effective for them.
  • Conduct a personal assessment to determine the teaching style that might best fit your situation.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are potential benefits and concerns for various teaching styles in your class setting?
  2. How do the various teaching styles best fit your personality and your students?

Pokémon Go Can Cost You

Pokémon Go has resulted in a loss of money and other concerns.  In this popular game, users interact virtually with Pokémon characters placed in real world settings. The app is free to download, however there are in-app purchasing opportunities. Players are encouraged to pay for hints and tips for a competitive advantage.

In addition to financial losses, the Pokémon Go app has been used to lure robbery victims.  Other players have been robbed of their phones.  Police departments caution players to be aware of their surroundings.

Be warned that “free isn’t the same as no cost.”  Users may pay in the form of data use, legal confrontations, injuries, and reduced work productivity.  Higher insurance costs can also occur when playing the game while driving, which might result in an auto accident. Social concerns include disturbing church services and other occasions with players capturing creatures during the events.

For additional information on the cost of Pokémon Goclick here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students suggest ways that an app game might be used for improved learning or assisting others in need.
  • Have students describe safety precautions when playing Pokémon Go.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Why are people attracted to the game, often with a personal or financial cost?
  2. What actions might be taken to avoid the financial and personal dangers of the game?

Scams, Frauds, and Consumer Complaints

Based on a recent study, chip-enabled cards used without appropriate technology and tax ID theft are the fastest-growing and most costly consumer complaints.  People are often contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS, a utility company, or a tech-support company, and asked to send money or provide personal information. This is a common danger sign of fraud as reported in a recent study of consumer complaints by the Consumer Federation of American and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators.

This report identified the following as the top ten most common sources of consumer complaints:

  1. Motor vehicle misrepresentations in advertising along with sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes
  2. Home improvement, such as inferior work, and failure to start or complete the job
  3. Utility service problems and billing disputes
  4. Credit and debt concerns, such as billing and fee disputes, mortgage fraud, credit repair, debt-relief services, predatory lending, abusive debt-collection tactics
  5. Retail sales problems related to deceptive ads, defective goods, problems with gift cards and certificates, rebates and coupons
  6. Services with poor or incomplete work, lack of licensing
  7. Landlord-tenant concerns, such as unsafe or unhealthy conditions, lack of repairs, and unfair eviction
  8. Furniture, appliances, and household products that are faulty or not properly repaired
  9. Health products and services with misleading claims
  10. Fraud and scams, such as phony sweepstakes, work-at-home schemes, deceptive online sales

Two additional recently reported scams are the “grandparent scam,” in which a phony grandchild calls an older person claiming to need quick cash for an emergency.  With the CEO scam, employees are contacted with what appears to be an email from their company asking them to wire money to a foreign supplier for a deal that needs to close immediately with a promise to be reimbursed.

For additional information on current frauds and scams, go to:

Link #1

Link #2 

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students present a talk with actions that might be taken to avoid consumer scams.
  • Have students create a list of common consumer complaints among their friends.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Why are people often victims of consumer frauds?
  2. What are common suggestions for avoiding various consumer scams and frauds?

What If Social Security Denies Your Disability Benefits?

If Social Security denied your disability benefits, you can file an appeal online, even if you live outside of the United States.

The online appeals application is simple, convenient and secure, guiding you through every step of the process.  From outlining your rights to an appeal, to publications on the appeals process, a fair review of your Social Security is right at your fingertips.  The online application even allows you to upload supporting documentation, like treatments, doctors, and medical reports, as well as an option to save your submissions.

Submitting all the necessary documents will save time and can help return a faster decision.  Here are some things you’ll need when ready to submit an appeal:

  • Doctors, hospitals, medical treatments, and tests since you last gave medical information to Social Security,
  • Medicines you are currently taking, and
  • Changes in your medical conditions, daily activities, work and education

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students if they know someone whose disability benefits were denied? If so, how was the problem resolved?
  • What can you do if Social Security benefits are not sufficient to support your family?

Discussion Questions

  1. Does Social Security provide work incentives that allow people to work and still receive their disability benefits?
  2. Does Social Security provide benefits for partial disability or short-term disability?
  3. How does Social Security define disability?

Paying for College

It’s more important than ever for students and former students to make smart decisions about financing their college education.  Whether you are attending college soon, are a current student, or already have student loans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put together some tools and resources to help you make the best decisions for you.

If you are considering student loans to help pay for school, you not alone—many students need loans to cover their full cost of attendance.  If you have to take out student loans, comparing your options can help you find the student loan best suited for your needs.

Consumer financial Protection Bureau has prepared student financial guides, financial aid shopping sheet adopted by more than 500 colleges and universities, and other helpful information on its website.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog and the original sources to

  • Help students appreciate that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau overseas private lenders, debt collectors, and loan services that manage borrowers’ payments and billings.
  • Describe why one-in-four student loan borrowers are past due or in default on a student loan.

Discussion Questions

  1. When borrowers default on a student loan, what might be some adverse consequences on their credit?
  2. Do you believe the student loan market lacks consistent standards that cover the servicing of all private and federal student loans?
  3. What can the federal and state governments to protect consumers in this market?

10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask

“Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important:  You are there to ask questions, too.”

In this Forbes article, Joe Konop explains why job applicants need to be proactive when they are interviewing for employment.  Specifically, you should strive to achieve three things during the interview

  • Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
  • Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.

Mr. Konop also provides 10 possible questions (and the rationale for asking each question) that you could ask during an interview.  For example

  • What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
  • What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
  • What is the next step in the process?

For more information, click here.  Then enter the title of this article “10 Job Interview Questions You Should Ask” to read the actual article.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Help students understand that the job market is very competitive, and they must be proactive to get the employment position they want.
  • Describe how preparing for an interview can make the difference between obtaining the employment position they really want and unemployment.

Discussion Questions

  1. Choose a specific job and describe the traits that you would need to be successful.
  2. Assume you are a college senior and are interviewing for a position with a major employer in the marketing, banking, or accounting industry. How would you prepare for a job interview with this company?
  3. What factors make the difference between a good employee and a bad employee?

Bonds and Interest Rates

“Interest rate changes are among the most significant factors affecting bond return.”

When it comes to how interest rates affect bond prices, there are three cardinal rules.

  1. When interest rates rise–bond prices generally fall.
  2. When interest rates fall–bond prices generally rise.
  3. Every bond carries interest rate risk.

This article describes how each of the “3 cardinal rules” described above affects a bond investment.  It also explains the role the Federal Reserve plays in determining interest rates in the economy.  Specifically it describes the federal funds rate, the discount rate, and basis points for bond investments.

Finally, this article provides information on where to find economic indicators that measure not only changes in interest rates but also other economic indicators for the nation’s economy.

For more information, click here. 

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Review why investors choose bonds for their investment portfolio.
  • Explain how the three cardinal rules described in this article affect a bond’s value.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume you are 35 years old, married, and earn $85,000 a year. In what circumstances would bonds be a good choice for your investment portfolio?  In what circumstances would bonds be a poor choice?
  2. What happens to a bond’s price if interest rates in the economy increase? If interest rates in the economy decrease?
  3. In addition to interest rates, what other factors that could affect the value of a bond?

How to Invest in Stocks

“Before you buy your first stock, you should master the basics of stock investing.”

This article provides basic information that you can use to help students learn more about investing.  For example, there are over 25 different links to more detailed information including:

  • Basic Stock Terms for Beginners
  • What Is a Balance Sheet?
  • What Is an Income Statement?
  • What Is Investment Risk?
  • How to Buy Your First Stock
  • How to Value Stocks
  • How to Analyze Stock Fundamentals

For more information, click here. 

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to:

  • Stress the importance of learning about stocks before making a stock investment.
  • Use a specific link(s) and show how students can use detailed information to become a better stock investor.

Discussion Questions

  1. Assume you are 35 years old and have $40,000 for investment purposes. Would you choose stocks or some other investment alternative?  Explain your answer.
  2. Access one or two of the links listed in this article. How could the information in this link help you evaluate a possible stock investment?

Career Questions to Ask Yourself

Studies reveal that most people do not enjoy their work.  In an effort to enhance your career satisfaction, career coaches recommend answering these questions on a regular basis:

  • Am I doing something that is aligned with my core values?
  • Am I doing something that leaves a lasting impact?
  • Am I doing something that is related to my natural talents, aptitude, and disposition?
  • Am I stretching myself a little every day?
  • Can I see myself doing this same work five or ten years from now?

Responses to these questions will allow you to make a better connection between your passion and meaningful work activities.  To assess your strengths and interests, use tools such as the Myers-Briggs personality test, Pathway Planner, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and the Enneagram personality assessment.  While aligning your work with your talents, aptitude, and dispositions, also continue to challenge yourself.

For additional information on career assessment questions, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students ask others for their answers to these career questions.
  • Have students research various careers that who allow them to make a better connection between their passion and meaningful work activities.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are actions a person might take to plan for a satisfying career?
  2. How might a person research careers that provide meaningful work?

Finances for Newlyweds

An estimated one-third of recently married couples are surprised by the financial situation of their spouse.  A similar number (36 percent) are not aware of their partner’s spending habits.  Based on a study by Experian Plc, only 40 percent knew the credit score of their partner.

Men more often hid money from spouses.  About 20 percent of men had secret bank accounts about which their partners didn’t know; compared to 12 percent of women. Regarding the maximum amount that they would spend before consulting with their spouse, men replied $1,259; women said $383.   Hidden financial information can have a significant adverse effect on the relationship of a newly married couple.

For additional information on newlywed finances, click here.

For additional information on the survey results, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students survey newly-married people about their disclosure of financial information to their spouse.
  • Have students create a list of problems that might arise between newly-married people who do not inform their spouse about their personal financial information.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What financial information would be most important for newly-married people to disclose to their spouses?
  2. How could a lack of disclosure of financial information to a spouse create relationship difficulties?