By Raine Beale B.
Galileo Economics and American Democracy teacher Mr. Walker Seligson has been chosen as the Bay Area teacher of the year for NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). For winning, Mr. Seligson earned a free trip to New York to take part in the NFTE Global Showcase on March 23rd, which celebrates both students and teachers who are taking part in the NFTE programs at their schools.
Mr. Seligson does not take full credit for winning the teacher of the year. He believes he won the award because of the accomplishments of one of his students last year, Suzy Kong, who won the Bay Area youth entrepreneurship challenge & made it all the way to New York to compete in the National Global Finals based on her economics invention.
Mr. Seligson was introduced to the NFTE program 4 years ago by former Galileo history teacher, Ms. Loan Ly, who thought that Mr. Seligson would be a good fit. She explained the program to him and shared her curriculum and advice with him about the program.
Mr. Seligson now has a good grasp of the NFTE program. He uses some of their worksheets to teach the class valuable lessons about Economics. Seligson likes NFTE because, “it relevant, applicable & fun for students.”
One of the major projects Mr.Seligson does in his economics class would be a big entrepreneur project. Students have to come up with an item to sell to other students at Galileo or other people around them starting with a $25.00 loan provided by NFTE. This loan helps the students to buy the needed products for them to sell.
Students chose a number of different things to sell. Senior Ava Vanetta is selling Bin Bin Asian rice crackers with Senior Rachel Su-Ang. They are selling the crackers, 2 for a dollar. Ava says, “I enjoy this project because I think everybody is super creative and we get to see how people market their product.”
Another senior, Claudio Aldag, is selling fruit snacks, $1.00 for 5 or 1 for 25 cents. He says, “This project is just alright but I feel like it would be better if I was a better salesman. I’m more motivated to do this project to get a good grade and it encourages me to actually want to do it.”
NFTE stands for Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, their mission is to provide programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognizing business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. NFTE’s curriculum is project based learning, focusing on the creation of an original business plan that students will present. Challenges students to use an entrepreneurial mindset to solve problems on a small and large scale. With this the students learn “Soft skills: how to work on a team, speaking in front of an audience, professionalism and becoming comfortable with a sales pitch. Hard skills: Market research, recognizing opportunity, financial accounting, social responsibility, Marketing Mix, Sale promotion, Critical thinking, problem-solving.”