Teacher Spotlight

TeacherSpotlight_SlideRob Frackleton

Rob Frackelton was named the Distinguished Stock Market Challenge Advisor of the Year and took home First Place in the Econ 101 category, high school division at the 2017 Governor’s Award Program For Excellence in Teaching Economics, for his project: “Adam Smith, will you be my friend? Using social media to teach the history of economic thought”. His project was chosen for its creativity and exciting approach to teaching economics to his tech-savvy high school students in an engaging and relevant format. Rob’s lesson provided students with a chance to think about economists in a whole new way. Students chose a famous economist to create a social media account for. Students then posted as that economist and commented on each other’s accounts. To see Rob’s winning project application, click below.

PROJECT APPLICATION: “Adam Smith, will you be my friend? Using social media to teach the history of economic thought”

School: Oxbridge Academy

School District: Palm Beach

Subject: Economics

Grade Level: 11 & 12th grade

Number of Years Teaching: 10

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I knew that I wanted to be a teacher in high school after having so many great role models in the classroom. I still keep in touch with some of them today.

If you weren’t teaching what would you do?
I would probably be working in the investment world.

What’s your favorite topic to teach?
My favorite topic to teach is behavioral economics. It is so interesting and applicable to everyday behavior. I was hooked on this topic after reading Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational in graduate school.

What’s the hardest topic to teach?
International Finance

Why do you think Economics and Personal Finance are important to learn?
Economics and Personal finance are important to learn because they are fundamentally about choices and incentives. Everyday, we face decisions and must effectively weigh the opportunity and sunk costs. Knowing the principles of Economics and Personal Finance helps us lead more fulfilling lives. As one of my favorite economists, Russ Roberts, says: “Economics is about how to get the most out of life.” Economics provides life long lessons that help us become better people.

How has the FCEE impacted your teaching?
The FCEE has greatly impacted my teaching with the amount of resources and support in teaching economics. The FCEE has made learning economics fun (no dismal science here). My students particularly enjoy the Florida Stock Market Challenge and Rockonomix. I have been able to engage with my students on a higher level with the real life applications of these programs.

What’s your favorite FCEE resource or program?
While I do greatly enjoy programs such as the Florida Stock Market Challenge and Rockonomix, my favorite FCEE resource is our local center at FAU. I find great value in learning more about economics education with a dedicated (and sometimes humorous) group of people. The camaraderie is great and the programs remind me that there is always something to be learned!

What advice would you give to a first-year economics or personal finance teacher?
My advice would be to relax and try to relate the economic topics to examples you find in life outside of the classroom. Students understand the material better when it is tangible to them. Use examples they might relate to such as Uber and surge pricing.

What do you like to do for fun outside of school?
Outside of school, I enjoy being with my family outdoors. Whether it is biking, paddle boarding, swimming, or hiking, I like to hang out with them in the Florida sunshine.

What’s one thing your students may not know about you?
One summer in high school, I interned at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and got to see the machines where they shred the worn paper bills. I enjoyed seeing all the different sides of the Fed.