Students Learn To Manage Money, Win An Argument In Business Class

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Payson High School teacher Richard Meyer aims to teach his students in Business Management and Administrative Service proper techniques for handling day-to-day financial matters.

"I've had experience overdrawing my (checking) account," student Jessie Alhandy said.

"Mr. Meyer has shown us ways to be more knowledgeable and not let it happen again," she said.

Alhandy learned enough in BMAS to file her own taxes online from her job at Club USA.

Two of Alhandy's classmates in BMAS have debit cards, three contribute to car insurance payments and buy their own gas.

Five students work outside jobs and five others volunteer in the community. Nine pay the bills for their own cell phones.

Meyer takes these things into account when he describes and creates theoretical situations for students in their pretend checkbooks on the class computer.

Students learn to credit their paychecks and debit out the cost of health and dental insurance.

Student Quintin Tank is taking the class as a prerequisite to computer design, but thinks the class has helped him balance his own check book, and he appreciates the one-on-one time Meyer has spent to help him catch up.

For Richard McCormick, the lessons balance well with his participation in Future Business Leaders of America by making it easier to study business concepts.

Rebecca Moore is a junior now and Meyer's student assistant.

"I really enjoyed this class when I took it my freshman year," she said. "You might not think of a business class as being fun, but he always makes it fun because he's really into his subject.

"Accounting has never been my thing, but he is willing to sit down with each individual student and help them understand it."

She learned Quicken on the computer. This year's students learn to balance checkbooks and manage their finances in Microsoft Money.

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Michael Dahm and Beth Hoyt use the financial planning guide to learn to budget and develop financial goals.

"I've taught my mom and I use it myself," she said.

Meyer calls his students Mr. and Ms. and tells them, "I'm the boss. You are the employee. I set the guidelines. You do the work. Your grade is your pay."

Students seem to accept it as a business environment and behave accordingly.

Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel help students explore real life situations like buying a car.

Practical communication is a necessary life skill, and open communication is important to Meyer.

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" is a text Meyer has brought into the classroom.

"I point out to them, if you want to win an argument, there is a way to go about it," he said. "It is good for students to be comfortable bringing up issues."

As a teacher, he is able to incorporate classroom arguments into the lesson.

Meyer wants his students to graduate with the ability to logically solve a problem and write a business letter.

Recently some students brought up the question, "Why can't same sex couples, even if they aren't ‘romantic couples,' save themselves $35 and go to prom on the $75 ticket?" (Individual tickets are $55.)

The handbook says they have to be a couple, said one student.

"Show it to me," Meyer countered.

He encouraged the student to research the issue by finding out what other schools have done, and then write a letter to the school newspaper from a logical rather than an emotional standpoint.

"He cares and gets involved in our questions," Moore said.

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