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How to Teach PAM

What is PAM (besides cooking spray)? It is personal account management. It provides 7th and 8th graders an amazing opportunity to learn about loans, balancing checkbooks, how boys have higher insurance rates than girls, and also gives them the opportunity to "shop" for expensive cars online and brag about how much money they will make after they get out of school. For the teacher, it's a great exercise in anger management and prepares you for real life situations such as long road trips with toddlers, running into a nest of wasps, or getting sent to a World War 2 style Japanese prison camp. Here is how to help students balance their PAM checkbook:

1. Wait and try to convince yourself tomorrow is a better idea. Look around nervously and see that most everyone is, in fact, done with their work. Clear throat.

2. Say in a bright teacher voice, while passing out worksheets, "OK, if you are done with your work you can work on balancing this. I'm sure everyone's will come out right this time!"

3. Sit down and wait for hands to go up.

4. When hands go up, paste patient expression on face.

5. Go to desk. Point at random numbers on statement. Ask, "Is that a 4 or a 9? Is that a 7 or a 1?"

6. Try not to pull out hair as you ask the student to redo math and he adds on a tiny calculator at about 2 digits per minute.

7. Go to desk and get normal sized calculator. Recheck all the math quickly while pressing the keys on the calculator extra hard.

8. Come out 60 cents off.

9. Say, "Go put it on my desk I'll look at it after school."

10. Pass hand across forehead. Student: "Is that sweat?" Teacher: "No it's blood."

11. Go to next desk. Repeat process.

12. On the rare time you get the numbers to come out, clap and cheer with the whole class.

13. Finally, send students home.

14. Talk to coteachers.

15. Do other schoolwork.

16. Eat.

17. Drink coffee.

18. Dink around on phone.

19. Maybe say a prayer.

20. Open The First Yellow Folder. Usually, because the kids are not around, the problem is visible and easy to fix.

21. Repeat until all Yellow Folders are fixed.

21. Go home.

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