Photograph by Angelo Merendino
Pat Hitchens joined the Shaker Middle
School faculty in 2005 and then taught
for seven years at Woodbury, before
returning to the Middle School in 2014
to teach seventh grade social studies.
“I really liked the age group and the
idea of teaching in a single subject
area,” she says. Prior to teaching here,
she worked for 10 years at Shaker
Heights Public Library and taught in
the Cleveland Public Schools.
Hitchens is the mother of three
Shaker grads and a grandmother. She
also cares for her 87-year-old mother.
Other duties: Adviser for the Drill and
Step Team, Student Government, and
African American Female Scholars. She
serves as an emcee at pep rallies, where
she earned the nickname “Rappin’
Granny” for her rhythmic rhyming skills.
Why middle school?
Middle schoolers are extremely curious,
thoughtful, and compassionate.
I also appreciate their sense of fun
Your secret to
connecting with students?
I will rap information to my kids
because hip-hop is so ingrained in their
culture. Integration of technology is
critical, especially since our students
are “digital natives,” compared to some
of us who are “digital immigrants.”
Best part of your job?
Getting to know the students.
I love having students come back
and tell me what they are up to,
where they are planning on going to
college, or sharing with me current
The ‘Rappin’ Granny’
44 WINTER 2018 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE