'Jawn' is the word: Philly students create slang handbook for first-year teachers

Handbook brings outside teachers into students' worlds

Justin Udo
August 21, 2018 - 8:05 pm
The School District of Philadelphia's "First Year Teacher Handbook"

School District of Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Some School District of Philadelphia students are spending their summer helping teachers make sure they are ready to hit the ground running when they get back in to the classroom.

Khalid Abogourin, a rising senior at Philadelphia Virtual Academy, helped put together a "First Year Teacher Handbook" for first-year teachers — a first-of-its-kind for the school district.

"We're just trying to help them through strategies, slang — anything they might see in the classroom, we just want to break it down and explain to them that, 'Hey, I'm a student, this is what I might need in order to better my education,' " he said.

A part of the 26-page handbook that has garnered a lot of attention is the lexicon on Philly-centric slang.

"In Philly, we have a different way of talking," he explained. "We have jawn, we have whiz, we have boul, and we have awky."

"It is to help them implement strategy into their own classrooms so they can learn their students in the most effective way," added Horace Ryans III, a junior at Science Leadership Academy who also helped create the book.

Abigail Shagan from Central Pennsylvania, a first-year teacher at Science Leadership Academy, said the slang section is going to help give her a leg up in the classroom.

"A lot of new words that I wouldn't have used before but now know that they all have appropriate context in relating to your students," she added.

The handbook boasts other words like ocky or finna to bring outside teachers into the students' worlds.

Another one of the slang terms used is down the shore — something both the students and teachers will not be able to enjoy for much longer.