I just read an article about the power of compound interest, and I nearly laughed out loud. Still trying to get my own business started, every cent I have going towards necessities, I can’t really consider investing at 8% for the next 30 years. However, the article got me thinking about another kind of compounding--compound knowledge. And you’re invited to help.

OK, some of you don’t know me, so I better explain. My name’s Brian Jaeger. I was once a teacher. My contract was not renewed (with no reason given) after twelve years. My union did not even acknowledge my layoff. Two kids and a wife at home. I know, it’s all kind of hard to believe, but that kind of thing happens in post-Act 10 Wisconsin. Usually to someone else. Others in my department figured I’d land on my feet because I was good at more than just teaching. I thought so, too. Most of my family and friends are still waiting for me to find another teaching job.

As I’ve been going through my old lessons to sell them online, I began to realize that I was a pretty good teacher, and I created a lot of very good lessons. Over 200 original lessons were mine. Then I added Lisa’s. However, just as some money starts to trickle in, I’m running low on new material to post. Then I thought of compound interest, or compound knowledge. It’s kind of the point of the site that sells lessons by teachers to other teachers. But my idea is this: not all of you teachers want to sell your lessons. Maybe you only have a few, or maybe it just seems like a hassle. Maybe you plan on doing it once you retire or get displaced like myself.


Here’s my proposal: send me one lesson. Just one. I don’t want your most coveted unit, but how about a worksheet? Maybe something from a unit you created in college and never used. A test on whatever (with an answer key). If enough of the talented teachers who still have jobs send me one lesson, I’ll be able to make some money selling knowledge; compounded knowledge. Sure, if you’re retired or just done with teaching, go ahead and send more than one worksheet. Not only will you be helping fellow educators (including me), but you’ll be spreading some of your own knowledge out there for others to use. That’s why we do it, right?

If you are a teacher, feel free to send a lesson to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are not a teacher, please share this article with someone who teaches or used to teach, especially someone who got to keep that 30-year job and retire with all the benefits. I can remember voting “no” to contracts that would have taken away some of those retirement perks, believing someday someone would do the same for me. Now, any teacher reading this has a chance to return the favor. Administrators, if you’ve ever felt guilty about sending another human being packing, here’s your chance to make it a little less wrong. I’ll even take lessons from professors. Any grade level, even staff development items. Just as long as it’s your own, I’d love to have it. You can think of it as charity or as my union finally coming through. I’d told my wife that if only 1% of teachers out there bought one of my books or joined my tutoring site or needed website services, I’d have plenty of success on my own. However, helping me out a little has yet to catch on as much as reading my article about getting free college t-shirts. But I think teachers are good people and they will help me to become the biggest seller of teaching materials in the history of mankind. Or at least a few more quizzes about obscure short stories.

Jacksonville News

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • Only Way to Avoid The Reverse Mortgage Disaster
    I've seen several news articles about the pitfalls of reverse mortgages. I also saw that we've set up a fund to help people when they get stuck with a reverse mortgage here in Florida. But the simple answer that most older people don't want to hear is that there's only one way to avoid disaster with a reverse mortgage: don't get one.

    The ad that inspired this reverse mortgage article claims that Americans have trillions of dollars just sitting there, not being used. The problem is that a reverse mortgage isn't using that money, either. It's using the house that's worth that money as collateral for a LOAN. It's a loan that needs to be paid off when your house is sold. You can make mistakes and end up losing your house.

    The better advice for anyone already retiredor looking to retire is to sell. I know, you love your house, all the stuff in it, the neighbors you wave at, the same big box retail down the road, and all the stuff in the house. It's basic economics: if you own something outright worth $500,000, sell it for $500,000 and rent a nice condo for 20 years. If you take out a reverse mortgage, then you can get $250,000 towards a condo for 10 years, still pay property taxes and insurance on the house, and continue to maintain it so that in a decade, you'll make enough money to pay off your reverse mortgage loan. New AC, new roof, new driveway? That would all eat into the profit on selling your house that you'll need to cover all the interest on the loan. Don't pay a bank for the right to live in a house for your entire life. Avoid reverse mortgages at all costs.
  • Rental Bikes Aren't Exactly For The Homeless
    Local news was down in St. Augustine covering the newly-proposed use of some kind of bike-share rental system. Since it's standard operating procedure, a homeless man was interviewed about the program. He said something to the effect that it would be good to have options for someone like him who can't afford a bike. FYI local news and homeless people: bike rental programs are not really created for the homeless.

    Since I don't claim to know the biking habits of the typical homeless individual, I'm going to assume it involves getting to a place and then back home. Home being a structure in a field outside of town, not where you'd be able to return the bike for credit. My understanding would be that these folks would need the bike to get to and from "work," each and every day. Based on a similar rental system I found online, the 24-hour rental is $24. Alternatively, an annual pass is $80. The problem is that the trips can only be 60 minutes each. Assuming the homeless camp is close enough to downtown, this might work as a way to get around once in St. Augustine. Not a bad yearly price to not have to worry about bike maintenance, anyhow. If you're homeless already, and now you can get as many maintenance-free trips on a bike as you can use each day, then $80 for the year isn't bad at all.

    But wait, there's less. The yearly pass will need to be paid for with a credit card with a fob mailed to an address. So even if these ride share bikes makes sense to homeless people, it might not be something that can be purchased without the help of someone with credit and an address. It might seem like a lot of people would volunteer to do this, but any extra time or any damage would be billed to the credit card, so I certainly wouldn't volunteer my credit in the hopes that someone else will always return the bike in time (or at all). The Cincinnati bike share, for example, charges $1,200 for a bike that is not returned.

    I have a $1,000 bike. At least someone paid $1,000 for it back in 1986. I picked it up amidst college moving day garbage at UW-Milwaukee back in 1999. It was already worth $0 at that point. I've used some tape to hold it together, but it's still worth about $0. Since I'm probably not the only person in the area with a worthless bike, I'm thinking a bike donation for the homeless might make more sense than saying they should be using tourist bikes. That's not to say that bike shares don't have a place in St. Augustine, just that it might be meant for rich tourists instead of homeless interviewees.