KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A+ Teacher Jon Motta has found a way to crack the code teaching ninth, 10th and 11th graders algebra II at Neo City Academy in Kissimmee.

What You Need To Know

  • Jon Motta is teaching how algebra can be used

  • His students are learning how much their education will cost

  • Discover more A+ Teachers right here

Motta says, "Our challenge question is how can you become a financially responsible adult in order to live the lifestyle that you want." 

Motta says the parents of his students love how they are learning. He adds, "They're like, ‘You know this is not something that you typically learn in school.’"

He was nominated for the real-life application that he's teaching like a project all about personal finance starting with how much money a student's education and training will cost after high school as he or she considers a possible career path and how much it pays.  

"So we covered things like taxes, we covered things like loans, we looked at things like car depreciation, we looked at retirement and investments. It's something that the kids seem to enjoy that there is an actual authentic connection to their future with what we're learning in class," he explains.

For Motta, the life lessons his students are learning are personal. He didn't always know his career path. He majored in music and business in college.

"I performed in musicals in the pit. I was in orchestra and wind ensemble and jazz bands and took economics classes and finance classes and moved up to Nashville for about a year," he recalls. 

But he later discovered his true passion was actually in the classroom helping students discover their own destinies by learning critical skills like how to crunch the numbers. 

Motta adds, "Growing up and going to school in Osceola County, I wanted to have an impact on the students like me who had maybe similar experiences to me that didn't have as much guidance to help them figure out what they wanted to do in college or their careers. So that's one of the things that I try to incorporate in my class even with math — is helping students identify their strength their weaknesses,  their passion and figuring out what they want to do with their lives. "