Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pledge Procedures

Last year there were a couple of posts talking about the Pledge that I meant to respond to, and didn't.

I teach in a high school (9-12). This year I have all sophomores, but I've taught students of varying ages in previous years. Every morning, over the loudspeaker, someone recites the Pledge before we have the announcements for that day. However, I do not tell my students that they are required to recite it along with the student on the loudspeaker.

Most days, I stand. Sometimes I put my hand over my heart; sometimes I don't. Usually I don't say it myself more than once or twice a semester.

The idea that all students should recite the pledge at the beginning of every day has always seemed a bit dodgy to me. For one thing, even if it's not intended as indoctrination, it sure feels that way. Additionally, by the time they reach me, it seems to have gone from "tradition" to "rote." So I feel that allowing students to choose whether or not they say the Pledge makes it more meaningful.

Most, if not all, of these students have been through years and years of public school already and know the Pledge "by heart."  I do like that everyone knows the Pledge - and the national anthem. There's definitely value in these shared experiences.

It's interesting to watch the students each morning to see what they choose to do.


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