Predatory lending-Teaching Tolerance

Number 46: Spring 2014

TT46
Illustration by Aude van Ryn

Predatory lending leaves our most vulnerable students in debt with no degree. You can help them avoid the pitfalls. Subscribe now to get Teaching Tolerance on your iPad, or download the PDF version here.

Departments

Seeing the Whole Child

Learn how principal Susan Weinman embraces the whole child.

The Visibility Factor

Jeanie Greenidge felt invisible as a child. Now she’s helping make sure every student is seen.

What We’re Reading

The Teaching Tolerance staff reviews the latest in culturally aware literature and resources, offering the best picks for professional development and teachers of all grades. 

Z and Vielpunkt

Two male penguins finally get the egg they’ve been hoping for—based on a true story!

One World

Teaching Tolerance and participating artists encourage educators to print out (click for a larger version) the One World page to hang on a classroom wall. It is created with just that purpose in mind. Enjoy!

Feature Articles

I Start the Year with Nothing

When students make the rules, classroom community soars.

Peggy McIntosh: Beyond the Knapsack

Learn how Serial Testimony places the emphasis on student experience.

Exposed

Cyberbullying happens in code. Break it. 

Tongue-Tied

Slavery is a tough subject. These tips will help you teach it well.

In Good Faith

Teach students to value religious diversity—yes, it’s OK in public schools!

Excerpt: The Social Neuroscience of Education

Social emotional learning isn’t just a hunch. It’s science.

Drowning in Debt

Predatory lending targets our most vulnerable students. Help them avoid the pitfalls.   

Cruel and Unusual

When crisis management techniques like restraint and seclusion become daily practice, kids get hurt.

In Bounds

Athletic programs don’t have to be a nightmare for LGBT students. Coaches are the key.

The Gentle Catalyst

Afraid to teach about privilege? Three teachers show how it’s done.

Picture Imperfect

How diverse is your classroom library?

Hit the Road

Whether close to home or far away, hands-on

The Way I Speak Matters

The Way I Speak About Youth Matters

 

 

Submitted by Liz Clift on April 11, 2014 Blogs and Articles:

 Teaching

  

 

When I speak about the youth I work with, I often struggle to find ways to talk about them that aren’t problematic. I find myself saying,

“one of my more challenging youth,” or “my most headstrong youth” or “my youth who has impulse control issues” to describe exactly the same person. I try to remember that I could also describe him as “one of my brightest youth,” “my youth who steps outside to regain emotional control,” or “my youth who can build whole Lego cities.”

The phrasing I choose depends on what experience I’m trying to convey, and also how much tolerance I’m feeling for him that day—how much he has tried my patience and my ability to creatively solve problems within a system that wants to jail young black men who have already been kicked out of multiple schools. 

When I go home and talk about my day, what I choose to say matters. It matters because it affects the way I’ll see this young man the next day and the way I’ll interact with other youth who will remind me of him in the future. It affects the way I represent “under-resourced” youth to others, and the expectations I convey to the larger community as a person who works with them.

I am especially aware of why the way I speak about youth matters when I hear people say, “Working with those youth must exhaust you!” and “How do you have the patience to work with those kids?” and “It’s a noble thing you’re doing.” This has happened more times than I can count.

I must remember that the same fears I have about negatively influencing others also apply to myself—that if I speak about the youth negatively, I might start to believe it. I might stop seeing their potential, stop viewing them as developing people who are allowed to make mistakes and find their way. 

I know that it takes more than just sympathy (or empathy) to change the circumstances of under-resourced youth who live in a community ripped apart by street violence. Our staff works to empower these youth through leadership and discussion groups, by attending their sporting events and by refusing to do things for them that they can do for themselves. Speaking about them respectfully is one more way we can try to make their worlds less hostile and change the negative mythology surrounding their identities. One more way we can try to prevent them from being written off before they even get out of elementary school.

 

 

The Way I SPEAK MATTERS

The Way I Speak About Youth Matters

Submitted by Liz Clift on April 11, 2014 Blogs and Articles:

 Teaching

 When I speak about the youth I work with, I often struggle to find ways to talk about them that aren’t problematic. I find myself saying, “one of my more challenging youth,” or “my most headstrong youth” or “my youth who has impulse control issues” to describe exactly the same person. I try to remember that I could also describe him as “one of my brightest youth,” “my youth who steps outside to regain emotional control,” or “my youth who can build whole Lego cities.”

 

The phrasing I choose depends on what experience I’m trying to convey, and also how much tolerance I’m feeling for him that day—how much he has tried my patience and my ability to creatively solve problems within a system that wants to jail young black men who have already been kicked out of multiple schools. 

 

When I go home and talk about my day, what I choose to say matters. It matters because it affects the way I’ll see this young man the next day and the way I’ll interact with other youth who will remind me of him in the future. It affects the way I represent “under-resourced” youth to others, and the expectations I convey to the larger community as a person who works with them.

 

I am especially aware of why the way I speak about youth matters when I hear people say, “Working with those youth must exhaust you!” and “How do you have the patience to work with those kids?” and “It’s a noble thing you’re doing.” This has happened more times than I can count.

 

I must remember that the same fears I have about negatively influencing others also apply to myself—that if I speak about the youth negatively, I might start to believe it. I might stop seeing their potential, stop viewing them as developing people who are allowed to make mistakes and find their way. 

 

I know that it takes more than just sympathy (or empathy) to change the circumstances of under-resourced youth who live in a community ripped apart by street violence. Our staff works to empower these youth through leadership and discussion groups, by attending their sporting events and by refusing to do things for them that they can do for themselves. Speaking about them respectfully is one more way we can try to make their worlds less hostile and change the negative mythology surrounding their identities. One more way we can try to prevent them from being written off before they even get out of elementary school.

 

Clift works in an after-school program for youth and is the communications intern for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

 

The way I speak Matters

The Way I Speak About Youth Matters

 

 

Submitted by Liz Clift on April 11, 2014 Blogs and Articles:

 Teaching

  

 

When I speak about the youth I work with, I often struggle to find ways to talk about them that aren’t problematic. I find myself saying, “one of my more challenging youth,” or “my most headstrong youth” or “my youth who has impulse control issues” to describe exactly the same person. I try to remember that I could also describe him as “one of my brightest youth,” “my youth who steps outside to regain emotional control,” or “my youth who can build whole Lego cities.”

 

The phrasing I choose depends on what experience I’m trying to convey, and also how much tolerance I’m feeling for him that day—how much he has tried my patience and my ability to creatively solve problems within a system that wants to jail young black men who have already been kicked out of multiple schools. 

 

When I go home and talk about my day, what I choose to say matters. It matters because it affects the way I’ll see this young man the next day and the way I’ll interact with other youth who will remind me of him in the future. It affects the way I represent “under-resourced” youth to others, and the expectations I convey to the larger community as a person who works with them.

 

I am especially aware of why the way I speak about youth matters when I hear people say, “Working with those youth must exhaust you!” and “How do you have the patience to work with those kids?” and “It’s a noble thing you’re doing.” This has happened more times than I can count.

 

I must remember that the same fears I have about negatively influencing others also apply to myself—that if I speak about the youth negatively, I might start to believe it. I might stop seeing their potential, stop viewing them as developing people who are allowed to make mistakes and find their way. 

 

I know that it takes more than just sympathy (or empathy) to change the circumstances of under-resourced youth who live in a community ripped apart by street violence. Our staff works to empower these youth through leadership and discussion groups, by attending their sporting events and by refusing to do things for them that they can do for themselves. Speaking about them respectfully is one more way we can try to make their worlds less hostile and change the negative mythology surrounding their identities. One more way we can try to prevent them from being written off before they even get out of elementary school.

 

Clift works in an after-school program for youth and is the communications intern for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.