By Alexis Newman
The core subjects of math, science, English and social studies are necessary to raise educated individuals, but those classes tend to lack coverage on topics that are vital to the everyday functioning of the average person, such as finances and economics. Cedar Creek teacher Caty Simmons helps students cover those bases and more in her classroom.
Simmons started teaching in 2013 in Nashville, and she’s worked at Cedar Creek since 2017. The classes she teaches currently are principles of business, principles of marketing, financial literacy and ACT Prep. Simmons hasn’t always worked in education, though. Her degrees are in marketing and communications, and she worked in marketing before deciding to change career paths.
The decision to get into the education field came after a family member told her about an MBA program in business education that was offered at Middle Tennessee State University. In what she calls a “leap of faith,” Simmons moved to Nashville and eventually fell in love with teaching.
While the general opinion of teenagers most likely views them as difficult, Simmons said that she loves teaching at the high school level.
“At the core of it, I just really love being around teenagers. Sometimes they can be very challenging, but it’s also very rewarding,” Simmons said. “No day is ever boring when you’re around them, that’s for sure!”
The subjects she teaches are important for soon-to-be young adults, and she enjoys being able to see her students succeed later in life. She finds that the benefits of her teachings show not in the classroom but in the future once the students have applied what they learned to their real lives.
“As a teacher, sometimes the payoff is long term and not necessarily short term, which is something I learned after my first 5 or 6 years in the profession,” Simmons said. “It makes it all worthwhile to watch them succeed for years after they leave your classroom.”
Despite marketing being her favorite of all the things she teaches, Simmons said she stresses the importance of teaching the youth about business and finances. Her classes are considered electives, but she said that the things she teaches are essential to anyone going into the world.
“I very passionately believe that every student, no matter their future career choice, needs a solid foundation in the basics of economics, banking, and personal finance,” Simmons said. “I try to make sure every student that comes through my class is not only prepared for their academic life after high school, but also real life.”
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