Teacher takes summer journey to Wall Street

By Mykenzie and Caitlyn Watson — While most teachers spent their summer relaxing, or on nice vacations, teacher Amanda deFays took part in a program that will further her education about business and marketing.

deFays recently went on a trip to New York City to take part of a teachers’ workshop on the New York Stock Exchange.

“The stock market is a very reactionary market, and reacts to all kinds of news, including political news, social media, anticipated jobs outlooks and even pure speculation,” deFays said.

She attended the program July 7 – 11, along with 30 other teachers from across the United States and one from Italy. The teachers represented varying curriculums, from Business Education to History. Even a kindergarten teacher attended the workshop.

“Last fall, Ms. Abbonizio(also a business teacher) told me about the opportunity to participate with the program,” deFays said. “ We sat and spoke about it at length, and I was inspired to research it and attend the following summer. My lack of knowledge of investing and the stock exchange and my interest in finding out more drove me to apply for this program.”

She stayed on the trip from July 6 – 11, and the workshop lasted from July 7-11 of last year.

“I never would have imagined that this opportunity would ever exist for me, and I am blessed to have been chosen to participate,” deFays said. “I am anxious to start planning and enhancing my curriculum for this coming school year at GlenOak and, as a fellowship recipient, I am required to report back as to how I am utilizing the material presented at the workshop.”

While excited to attend the program, deFays approached it with a few nerves. When she was younger she had thought about pursuing a career in investing but changed her mind and became a teacher. She wondered if she would regret the decision.

deFays did not regret her decision to pursue teaching and not investing. She enjoyed her time observing and learning about all facets of the Exchange, she was thrilled that she had chosen to be a teacher instead.

“I probably will never be as wealthy as the brokers I met, but I feel that my life is rich because of what I do,” deFays said.

She learned many interesting and new things from her experience.

“Much of our time was spent talking about the recent “flash crash” where stocks were sold like crazy seconds after the Asspociated Press’ Twitter account was hacked and the message that the White House had been bombed was posted,” deFays said.

Much of the information deFays learned from her trip has benefited her business class in many ways. For example, all the teachers who went on the trip broke into groups twice a day to recap the material that was presented and were challenged to build a lesson plan to integrate the new subject matter for their classes.

“For me, I will plan to incorporate the curriculum in a number of my classes, from ethical matters in Leadership, to marketing the New York Stock Exchange to new companies looking to enlist in my Marketing class,” deFays said. “And finally the ideals and principles behind corporate funding and accounting issues in my Finance class.”

deFays brought back as much content from her trip as possible to her classroom. She was supplied with instructional CDs, different stock simulation programs for the classroom, and binders with personal finance curriculum as well as all components of the New York Stock Exchange.

Some things that deFays learned from her trip were things that she had never known before.

“I was not aware that the position of the traders called DMM – designated market makers, who work for the different brokerage houses and are required by law to constantly buy and sell stock,” deFays said.

She also heard about the events of 9/11 from different brokers, and how the tragedy shaped the market.

“During my week, we studied a variety of topics including market structure, market regulation, trading platforms and technology, IPO’s, derivative products, classroom resources and careers in the securities industry,” deFays said.

She also got the chance to take a picture with the CEO in front of two of their cars on display. The stock exchange gave her the opportunity to go on a trip to the Museum of Finance on Wall Street.

“I have not yet started teaching this material, as my Finance class will be taught in the spring,” deFays said.

Overall, deFays enjoyed her trip and says that it was very successful and will use this information in her business class starting in the spring.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]