Amanda Daugherty’s third grade class at Hyde Park Elementary in Denison embarked on a job finding mission Friday. Each student was asked to complete an employment application, including references, for a classroom job they were then interviewed for.

“What we are doing is having them apply for classroom jobs,” Daugherty said. “But I make it realistic. I connect it to a real life situation. It’s more meaningful to them and they love it.”

Students had a list of jobs, including banker, police officer, librarian and more. Each position has a designated salary which is deposited into that child’s online bank account. The students are then taught how to fill out a check and withdraw money from their account in order to buy things from the store.

“We teach cursive in third grade only, so that ties into writing checks,” Daugherty said. “There’s a store where they can buy things like lunch with the teacher or a special seat or buy a certain thing. They have a list of things they can spend their fake money on.”

The students can also earn bonuses for good grades, behavior and attendance. The bonuses vary in amount based on the difficulty of the achievement. Daugherty says she rewards students for any behavior or achievement that should be celebrated.

“This ties into my classroom management big time,” Daugherty said. “It’s not only personal financial literacy, which is in math and social studies but it’s also a life skill. I give bonuses for good behavior, which helps with classroom management.”

Parents were involved in the process by helping students get recommendation letters and dress for the occasion.

“Some of the parents went all out,” Daugherty said. “One of the kids was applying for banker and they got a letter of recommendation from an actual bank. So the parents are really participating too.”

After the application and references were complete, students each underwent a formal interview for the job they chose. Daugherty asked them to explain why they would be a good fit for the position and what their strengths and weaknesses might be.

Each job has a different list of duties that the students will be responsible for performing each week. Students will receive a fake phone call from their teacher on Monday when they will find out what position they received.

“They’re really excited,” Daugherty said.