By: Kristen Meredith
Last week, several NFTE interns and I had the chance to participate in a BizBuilders instructor training session. This is a three-day workshop which prepares educators to teach NFTE’s entrepreneurship curriculum. It was a great opportunity for the other interns and me to learn more about the NFTE methodology and to get to know future NFTE teachers from around the country.
“I wanted to sit in on the training to learn more about how teachers facilitate students’ understanding of entrepreneurship and develop their business plans,” explained Cat Fish, an intern in Marketing & Development. “I personally enjoyed hearing about the NFTE alums who have used their NFTE businesses as platforms to become successful entrepreneurs!”
Paulina Camarena, a Partnerships and BizBuilders intern who also attended the training, said that for her, “It was particularly gratifying to watch how engaged everyone was and how supported the teachers felt by all the tools that NFTE provides them with. The experience made me even happier to be an intern at NFTE.”
Personally, I found that participating in the training helped me gain an appreciation for the importance of “experiential learning” in the NFTE model. Erika, the Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher who led our session, was constantly engaging us in hands-on activities which applied every new concept to real-life situations. For example, for the economics of one unit lesson, the participants were divided into groups, and each group was given a large selection of ingredients to make a sandwich. We then had to calculate the cost of our sandwich, using the price of each ingredient and our group’s labor cost. Participating in these activities made each concept clear and very memorable. Experiencing this teaching style firsthand helped me understand why the NFTE model is so effective at engaging students and getting them excited about entrepreneurship.
Kristen Meredith is a summer 2012 intern at NFTE. She is currently a sophomore at Middlebury College.