An elementary college instructor’s attention-grabbing methodology to show his college students monetary literacy has gone viral online, and cut up opinion whereas doing so.
Fourth and fifth grade instructor Mr. Vuong shared his approach to TikTok on September 25 and gained over 3 million views on the time of publication. The video, nonetheless, has cut up viewers, with some feeling the lesson is a precious and important one, whereas others have questioned the necessity to “introduce capitalism to the classroom.”
Vuong makes use of his very personal foreign money of “brain bucks” which he awards to kids for good habits and attendance—one buck for every day they’re at school, and additional bucks to earn for issues like, “being responsible, contributing to discussion, so on and so forth.”
He prices the scholars a lease of 15 mind bucks each final Friday of the month, the place the youngsters must pay out for his or her desks. Any left over cash can then be spent on the “treasure chest” or to purchase one thing dearer from the “treasure trove.”
Orders are positioned on the classroom’s personal model of Amazon—Vuongmazon, the place a tax of three mind bucks can also be added. Kids even have the choice to repay their yearly lease in a single go for 75 mind bucks, leaving them rent-free for the remainder of the 12 months.
“As a teacher, I value connecting what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world. I liked the concept of using money and knew that a lot of people has expressed how schools don’t teach skills like finances/budgeting. So, I somehow connected my second grade teacher’s usage of ‘buckazoids’ to my own brain bucks system and mimicked the real world a bit more. This past year, as kids were learning from home, I had to adapt the system and make it digital. That was how I started using the ClassDojo app so they can check their Brain Bucks online from home. I also made the Vuongmazon page. I liked it so much that I decided to keep it this year… also to build their conceptual understanding of the physical ‘cash’ brain bucks with not-so-tangible amount shown on the app.
“For the youngsters, it is simply enjoyable to fake like they’re doing ‘grown-up’ issues,” he stated.
The video can also be seen in full here.
With hundreds of thousands of views, the educating methodology was met with various opinions online on simply how helpful it’s. A sixth grade instructor from Harlem, Mr. Wright wrote: “Wow, I don’t like this at all…why would you try to replicate capitalism in the classroom? What happens if they can’t make rent?”
Vuong informed Newsweek that whereas he needs it was completely different, capitalism is a reality of life, and there is no hurt in getting ready his college students for it in a enjoyable manner. “Sadly, as much as I don’t agree with the capitalistic system that we are a part of, it’s not changing anytime soon. I strongly believe in getting these kids prepared for the real world in any way possible: learning how to regulate their emotions, advocating for themselves and others, being aware and proactive about social issues, building self- and social awareness… and learning how to budget their money.
“Getting uncovered to how capitalism works, even on the most simple degree, can assist a few of these youngsters study what’s flawed with it and probably encourage them to maneuver in direction of making the system extra equitable or altering it altogether. We shouldn’t shelter youngsters from the tough truths of actuality. These are fourth and fifth graders, about to enter center college, residing in a world of social media; they know greater than what we want them to learn about at this age. They are usually not too younger to study cash administration in a protected and managed surroundings. The good factor is that they’re free to make errors with out the true world penalties.”
Another user recounted her own school experience, writing: “This is an attention-grabbing concept however it is not honest to base it on attendance. I’ve had persistent well being points since I used to be a child and I had months the place I’d miss every week or so of faculty.”
Vuong, however, addressed concerns left by commenters in a follow-up video, reassuring that he values equity in teaching and wouldn’t “evict” a child from their desk. With attendance, Vuong explained that there are other ways for the kids to earn enough money for desk rent, including being kind and showing integrity.
If they couldn’t make rent because they decided to spend their brain bucks on treats, however, he explained he would have a talk with them and provide more opportunities to earn it again.
“I’m a instructor that values social emotional studying and fairness,” he said. “I might by no means exclude a toddler for ANY causes. Like I stated in my second video, I by no means had an issue with youngsters not making lease due to extreme attendance points; and sooner or later, if that’s the case, I might positively accommodate or de-prioritize the system altogether and handle what is going on on in actual life.
“I am a teacher, not a landlord. My kids are my students, not tenants. If I have to drop the system and try something else for an individual student to meet their needs, I would gladly do so,” he defined.
Although the video discovered Vuong pressured to defend himself over analytical feedback, others rushed to applaud the system and even wished it for themselves as kids.
“I can see now, based on the comments, why teaching is such a hard job. This is a creative way to teach life skills,” wrote one TikTok person.
“There was a school trip in my elementary school once, we ran an entire town. Some at the bank, some at city hall, some had their own business or were employees at those businesses and I loved everything about it except that it only lasted a day,” one person remembered.
“So helpful, great for teaching necessary life skills,” commented one other.
After feedback on how the system might affect these with well being points and disabilities, Vuong stated that he is now including sick days and private day without work to the system, “because those happen in real life and I want to reinforce the fact that it’s important to take care of their own physical/mental needs; therefore, they shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed if they miss a day because they weren’t feeling well.
“I simply want that individuals would take the time to observe my different movies earlier than they bounce to conclusions about who I’m as a instructor. But hey, that is the web, and folks could be fast to evaluate.”