Jennie Hanna is a teacher of English at MacArthur High School in Lawton, Oklahoma and a member of the OKCTE Executive Board.
I’m not sure who told me this valuable piece of wisdom early in my career, but it has served as a central piece of my pedogeological framework. I used to see it only in terms of classroom management. If I permit students to turn in late work, I am promoting being unaccountable. If I permit students to sleep during instruction, I am promoting that participation is not vital. While these are important, I need to remember the hidden messages I send when I make decisions of what will and will not happen in my classroom.
Educational theorists like Henry Giroux and Ruby Panye have outlined hidden curriculum and rules that are inherent in education. As a teacher, I am given a tremendous power to promote what I feel is important for the next generation to learn. If schools are to serve as a place where socialization and experiential education can take place, I need to use that power to ensure diversity and inclusion flow naturally within our learning. Below are some of the things that I work hard to permit within the classroom.
OKCTE values the voices of educators from across the state. Occasionally, we will invite an educator to contribute their stories and thoughts.