The Hidden Curriculum in Room 10: School Mythology and Professional Identity Negotiation in the Miss Malarkey Picture Book Series

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Two weeks before my first school year as an elementary teacher commenced, I met Miss Malarkey. I was taking a break from sorting the accumulation of school supplies I had inherited from the teacher who had previously occupied my classroom to visit the children’s section at the local library to find a read-aloud book for the first day of school. Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 was displayed on a shelf among other humorous titles chronicling classroom life, such as the popular Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry Allard and First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. The book takes up a familiar, yet seldom articulated, belief among young children that teachers’ lives do not extend beyond the school building. Its sophisticated humor, requiring an experienced reader to pay careful attention to both text and illustration to “get it,” was an aspect I thought would appeal to my class of third graders. I was right: Miss Malarkey Doesn’t Live in Room 10 was well-liked by my students that year and those that followed.


Published as a chapter in:

Shoffner, M. (Ed.). (2016). Exploring teachers in fiction and film: Saviors, scapegoats and schoolmarms. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315671949

ISBN: 9781315671949, 978-1138944404