#TeachingTuesday: Spent

Y’all, I just do not know what it is about me and Tuesdays. It seems that not even my strong love alliteration can get me to stick to my rigorously planned out #TeachingTuesday posting schedule. Bear with me, please.

Building off of last week’s #TeachingTuesday post about the pay gaps this is another resource I like to use in the classroom. It’s been around for awhile now so you may have already heard of it: spent.

I’ve used Spent two ways in my classes. If I’m teaching a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies class I will often make this an activity during the week we are discussing the pay gap in class. Sometimes I assign it to the class and ask everyone to play it before a given class period so that we can discuss the game in conjunction with issues of unequal pay. Other times I will make it an optional project for students to play the game until they “win” and write a short paper (2-3 pages) on what it took to win and connect it to at least two class readings.

The other way I like to use it is to but the game on the projector and have the class play as a team. I’ve used this as an exercise in presentational speaking courses when we are discussing persuasion. Students have to make impromptu speeches on why they think the class should pick any option from the career in the beginning of the game to the groceries that go in the cart. After students have made their cases the class votes. We do this for as long as we can until we lose or win. It usually promote a nice discussion about where our money goes.

I remember one student who argued passionately that the class should choose to purchase insurance through the workplace and have that taken out of the bi-weekly paycheck. Later in the game our fictional persona needed a root canal and the $400+ we had to pay to meet the deductible bankrupted our funds. Several students in the class were OUTRAGED that someone could be forced to pay over $400 to meet a deductible when they were already paying over $300 a month for insurance. It was a good time to talk about deductibles, money, healthy, and, of course, systems and systemic oppression.

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