Improve the way you talk about your students and remove words from your vocabulary that make the students sound like outsiders instead of members of the school community.

  • Be aware of words that enter our common vocabulary that damage our efforts to build racially just schools.
  • Racially coded language can devalue students and their families and make them appear like others or outsiders.
    • Examples include even when we try to build empathy by saying just how "tough" things are for "those kids."
    • Other examples include referring to students as "ghetto" or to their parents as "tiger moms" or saying "if only the parents cared about their kids education."
  • Think about your word choice.
  • Avoid treating the students as inspiration or poverty porn when talking to people. While some argue that this is to help people empathize, it’s rarely done in a humanizing way.
  • Work to build relationships and community partnerships in the areas where you teach.
    • This will help you get to know the students and their families better and more holistically, which will allow you to understand their lives and communities more wholly.