Teacher Spotlight



Brittany Sampson was named the 2019 Charles C. Harper Economic Educator of the Year at this year’s inaugural USF Regional Economic Educator & Leadership (REEL) Awards. Brittany has shown exemplary skills as both an educator and curriculum creator in the field of Economic & Financial Literacy.  Congratulations, Brittany!  We wish you all the best in your 18th year of teaching!

SchoolLakeland Senior High School

School District: Polk

Subject: Economics and Government

Grade Level: 12

Number of Years Teaching: 2019-2020 begins year 18 !!!

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? There were moments throughout my childhood that pointed toward teaching; however I did not “know” I wanted to be a teacher until I was 20 or 21. Beginning my teaching career allowed me to explore components of education that paralleled my passion to help others. Every school year there are cruxes that let me know I am in the right place in the universe.

If you weren’t teaching what would you do? If teaching was no longer an option for me, I would be pursuing something that merges my ability to create with the outcome of helping others. I really enjoy writing- maybe something along those lines.

What’s your favorite topic to teach? Whew! That is a fully loaded question! I absolutely love teaching economics, I really enjoy teaching personal finance as well. It is monumental when the students not only “get it” but find that they enjoy learning about the topic as well. Both the Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy and Personal Finance’s Saving and Investing seem to catch the attention of my teens. 

What’s the hardest topic to teach? Chemistry, Physics, Biology. Just kidding. Seriously though, as interesting as the hard sciences are, there is no way I’d be capable of teaching them. All joking aside, I am not really a fan of Market Structures and Business Organization. I find these subjects really dry. 

Why do you think Economics and Personal Finance are important to learn? These subjects are essential to decision making. Economics teaches about scarcity, and when put in the correct perspective, students can really catch the weight of the cost-benefit analysis. Personal Finance is fabulously important to these students as they are ushered into adulthood.  Many of my seniors have already begun making financial decisions as adults. It is crucial to set a solid foundation for their future financial options. Allowing the students to feel capable of seeing opportunities within the financial world, rather than “trapped” is a fantastically empowering skill.

How has the FCEE impacted your teaching? The FCEE has granted me ample professional development and training opportunities for gathering new curriculum to teach the same subject areas. In today’s world, technology is constantly changing and to be an effective teacher, intertwining both engagement as well as content among lessons is imperative. 

What’s your favorite FCEE resource or program?  I enjoy online workshops- both on and offline, but I also use the EconEdLink Resources regularly. I love the lesson on Economics Misery and Presidential Elections.

What advice would you give to a first-year economics or personal finance teacher? “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” There is so much out and available to you. Spend some time organizing lessons you find into a teachable timeline for your students. Teach with energy and enthusiasm, it is contagious and your students will find themselves engaged in your lessons. 

What do you like to do for fun outside of school? My daughter’s athletic schedule keeps me pretty busy, and I love watching her play soccer. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking and the beach. 

What’s one thing your students may not know about you?  I am pretty handy when it comes to building, repairing or using tools. I like wood working and find it a creative outlet throughout the year.