Every day teachers search the internet for news articles to have their students read, think about, discuss, and write. But it always seems like the articles they come across just aren’t what they are looking for, as the content is not completely correct or appropriate, or the story is filled with bias; there are even advertisements that are not age-appropriate, which makes teachers cringe. I can understand the frustration- I am one of those teachers who love the news, especially business/finance/marketing/and sports news, to discuss with my students, which is why I created Today’s Dough.
I have taught for 10 years at the high school level (finance, marketing, business commerce, accounting, and computers). Each period I have asked my students to tell me what is happening in the news of business/finance/marketing and the stock market. Students typically responded nothing was happening, or they would just give me a headline, and I would do all the talking. So I searched for a daily newsletter to deliver the news to the kids by having them subscribe to the service. The kids liked it, but they did not truly relate to the content. It frustrated me because I wanted my students to appreciate the news and understand its impact on their lives personally, as potential owners, or even as investors. So the idea of putting together a daily newsletter began to take shape.
I took all of the newsletters that I was using and presented them to 150 high school students and asked them if they could create a daily newsletter of business/finance/marketing; what would they want? The number one answer was to be able to relate to the articles. The second answer was to have a higher-level question that gets them to think about what they had just read. The third answer was the ability to blog their answers onto a website where they can also read the responses of other students. All of this became the foundation of Today’s Dough. Once I had the foundations, I needed to create a website and a daily email. I knew what I wanted to do, but sometimes you need to bring on people because you don’t have the skill set yourself to do it, so I called my best friend, Ted, who is a CTE teacher at another high school (as well as a computer science teacher of the year) and told him about the idea. Ted thought the idea was great and jumped on board along with his wife to help create what I was looking for; today, they both are very involved in maintaining the site and delivery of the content. Then we needed one more piece, and that was to name the site and come up with a logo. The best person for this job was my brother, a marketing genius. My brother was intrigued by the idea of a daily newsletter geared toward high school and college students to get them to appreciate the news and how it affects decision-making. He came up with the concept of Dough being money as well, as we both grew up in the bakery manufacturing business and how we will publish every day. Why not call it Today’s Dough? Then he went on to design all of the logos for the site.
On January 19, 2021, Today’s Dough began, and it started out with my students and the other students at my school. Articles were being curated by a few of my current and former students. Then a couple of these students, including my own child, who at the time was a junior in high school, wanted to write their own articles based on what was happening in the world, and it was great. I thought this would stay within my school; boy was I wrong. Word of mouth went around my school district and started to spread. Where today, there are over eighty thousand people that receive or are reading the Today’s Dough newsletter and website. Teachers have linked their learning management software to the Today’s Dough website. College professors have sent emails stating that they love Today’s Dough as it provides them with the opportunity to connect with their students on another level.
The other day, I had a whole class where the students discussed an article about the State of California eliminating new car sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. The students engaged in the topic and understood the value of the process for the first time. A student turned and said now I get the point of Today’s Dough and why it exists. As a teacher, I was so excited-it was truly a lightbulb moment.
I find teachers across the country are searching for the same type of content that I was a couple of years back. Looking for news on the internet, asking questions on Facebook groups, etc. This past summer, I spoke at three teacher conferences about the importance of high school accounting and highlighted the practical impact of using Today’s Dough as a classroom tool. After I spoke, people approached me asking about Today’s Dough. One person said, “Wow, you created a newsletter about the news with higher-level questions for the kids that is not political? You just made my life so much easier”. I responded, “Thank you. I am so glad that I can help make your classroom better. I love the news, and I wanted to get my kids to appreciate it for what it really is about, and not what it isn’t; that is why it was created.”
So now I find myself at a crossroads, and I am looking for feedback. If you are a subscriber to Today’s Dough or just read it from the website or a daily newsletter email that was passed on to you, please click on this link and take this brief survey. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please subscribe read a few daily issues and the website, then come back and take the survey. I always want to improve Today’s Dough and continue to have it evolve while being relevant within the classroom as a learning tool.
Thank you for your support!