Paying PMM Forward

Jacqueline Valentine, a Empowered Teacher and Business Educator in Austell, Georgia is Ready to Share Her Story at RiseUp Atlanta 2023.

There is a Master Teacher heading to RiseUp Atlanta. Jaqueline Valentine, or “Mama V” as her students and coworkers call her, has been using PMM (Principles + Markets = Mindset) in her classroom for several years and she’s ready to share her success with other teachers. 

A 27-year classroom veteran, Jacqueline has always believed in being prepared for every class and then adjusting to the vibe in her classroom — so every student feels important. This commitment to individualized education is creating value for her students at South Cobb High School in Austell, Georgia.

Jacqueline’s first Empowered training experience in 2018 introduced her to lots of equally-passionate educators and many ways to apply PMM as an instructional strategy that can help her adjust and enhance her classroom activities. She decided to begin with one aspect of PMM that felt most natural to her – transforming her classroom into a marketplace using incentives for engagement and rewarding valued contributions from her students.

“I picked my lane and that was the idea of using Empowered’s resources like currency and bonds,” said Jacqueline. She looked at ways to challenge students to share their ideas, life experiences, and perspectives to make the activities feel more “real”. It made perfect sense and her students really took to it. 

Her students immediately recognized that their interactions in Mama V’s classroom mirrored their interactions elsewhere. Market concepts like subjective value, freedom to enter and compete, innovation, trial and error, and voluntary exchange felt familiar. As they got more comfortable, they shared the experiences and, before long, the whole school had noticed the buzz.

“Oh my gosh,” said Jacqueline, “It’s as easy and infectious as they said.”

Jacqueline’s choice to choose one part of PMM to start and use more tools as she gets more comfortable reflects the experience of many of our teachers and, in turn, their students. Finding what we are good at, mastering that skill, and improving through trial and error are all part of developing the growth mindset. 

Jacqueline plans to pay her experience forward as a member of the teacher committee for RiseUp Atlanta 2023. She wants to be there to help more teachers see and leverage the power of PMM.

“There are so many different ideas and inspirations (within PMM). So, I took some time to figure out what was most natural to me and what my students might take to the fastest and got started. It’s been wonderful.”


“There are so many different ideas and inspirations,” said Jacqueline. “So, I took some time to figure out what was most natural to me and what my students might take to the fastest and got started.”

This is a strategy Empowered encourages. Individualizing education is so valuable to so many classroom teachers especially when trying something new with students.

“Your approach is going to have to be different based on the mix of kids you have in any given class,” said Jacqueline. “I teach two intro classes right now, and they are like day and night.”

With a full toolbox of Empowered resources, concepts, and support at her side, there is nothing stopping Jacqueline and her students.

Jacqueline always welcomes former Empowered students to come and talk with her classes. They share what they learned and how they are applying it in their lives today. “It’s so awesome to see those modern, twenty-first century, real world skills start here but be applied beyond our classroom.”

Jacqueline encourages new and seasoned teachers alike to attend RiseUp and knows they will all be inspired in one way or another. “Go! Why not?” said Jacqueline. “We see the same people in our schools every day. You’re going to see a whole variety of people and perspectives and experiences at RiseUp. Something is bound to click for you.”

Share the Post: