How Do You Teach Economy Now? The recent financial upheaval on Wall Street has trickled down to the Bronx School of Law and Finance. We find out how finance teacher Lena Borst explains the economic lessons of the current crisis to her students.
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How Do You Teach Economy Now?

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How Do You Teach Economy Now?

How Do You Teach Economy Now?

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ALEX COHEN, host:

This week's news isn't just rattling investors. It's also providing an interesting lesson for those studying the economy. Lena Borst teaches high schoolers at the Bronx School for Law and Finance.

Ms. LENA BORST (Teacher, The Bronx School for Law and Finance): It was one of those times that we call teachable moments, where current events just takes over whatever curriculum you are. And they can learn so much more from what they're actually seeing in the news than anything in the textbook at that point.

COHEN: Her lesson plan for Monday morning was supposed to focus on investment plans and planning for the students' financial future.

Ms. BORST: So all of a sudden, we have the Lehman Brothers declaring bankruptcy. The juniors that I was teaching that day are just coming into the finance program. So for a lot of them, all of this is new information. So a lot of that was, why in the world is this happening? Why is the economy struggling so much? When will it pick up? What does this mean? Does this mean I'll ever have a job? Will it ever get better?

COHEN: And why weren't there more warning signs? The students are asking whether or not the government should step in to help struggling companies.

Ms. BORST: Especially some of the older ones realized that, hopefully, it is more of a cycle, that there will be recovery. They also understand that New York City is such a finance city, so they understand that some of those tax dollars go to their schools, things like that. So I asked one of them today, well, how do you feel about struggling in the finance world? And she said, well, I still want to go into it, but it makes me very nervous. Like, I'm a lot more scared than I was before.

COHEN: Borst says her juniors and seniors are quickly realizing that sometimes, things don't always go according to plan. For instance, AIG and some of the other struggling companies usually offer internships to students at the Bronx School of Law and Finance.

Ms. BORST: We had students at AIG and Lehman Brothers both this summer. We had students at Deloitte and Touche, at KPMG. We had students at Bank of New York before. It makes them a little more nervous, too, because this is a big driver of the academy of finance at our school to be able to offer this internships, especially when they work hard, and they're now realizing that sometimes, it becomes a little harder to find those internships, too.

COHEN: Finally, we asked Lena Borst what she found most surprising about teaching during these interesting economic times.

Ms. BORST: That students who are 16, 17, 18 years old have such an interest in and awareness in finance at such a young age. I have a bunch of students that all want to be accountants and, they think accountancy is just the best thing ever. And I love that passion.

COHEN: Lena Borst, a teacher of finance and history at the Bronx School of Law and Finance. There is still an internship available at AIG next summer according to the company's website.

BRAND: Those students will need to travel. The listing is for an internship in Houston.

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