Words matter. Every day in schools, language is used—whether in the classroom, in a student-teacher meeting, or by principals, guidance counselors, or other school professionals—implying, intentionally or not, that some subset of students have little potential. As a result, countless students "underachieve," others become disengaged, and, ultimately, we all lose.
Mica Pollock, editor of Everyday Antiracism, now turns to what it takes for those working in schools to match their speech to their values, giving all students an equal opportunity to thrive. By juxtaposing common scenarios with useful exercises, concrete actions, and resources, Schooltalk describes how the devil is in the oft-dismissed details: the tossed-off remark to a student or parent about the community in which she lives; the way groups—based on race, ability, and income—are discussed in faculty meetings about test scores and data; the assumptions and communication breakdowns between counselors, teachers, and other staff that cause kids to fall needlessly through the cracks; or the deflating comment to a young person about her college or career prospects.
Schooltalk will empower educators of every ilk, revealing to them an incredibly effective tool at their disposal to support the success of all students every day: their words.
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