Shawnta S. Barnes

Posted July 1, 2020

I Was the Only Black Teacher, And I Quit My First Job After Six Months

Why would a teacher submit her resignation for her first teaching job out of college in February of that school year? The answer is racism, mistreatment, and…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted June 17, 2020

This Juneteenth I’m Challenging Educators to Emancipate Themselves From a Colonized Curriculum

When Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, this marked the end of slavery in the United States … that is what a lot of people…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Jan. 17, 2020

Teachers, Why Are We Quicker to Call Parents About Kids’ Behavior Than About Their Academic Performance?

Recently, I came across a tweet that resonated with my beliefs: This is problematic. As an educator, I know behavior and academics are linked. Sometimes…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Jan. 15, 2020

Here’s Why Every Teacher Needs a Mentor

Regardless of your profession, mentorship can be powerful. We need long term teacher mentoring in education. This is one way to improve the quality of…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Dec. 17, 2019

The Week Before Winter Break Doesn’t Have to Be a Nightmare

One of the hardest weeks of the school year is the week before winter break.  The turn up is real. Students start acting as if…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Nov. 15, 2019

Using Chosen Names and Pronouns for Students Is Important

If you have been reading my work long enough, you know I am adamant about teachers pronouncing students’ names correctly. A student’s name is part of…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Oct. 18, 2019

4 Tips for Parents to Get the Most out of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Many schools are preparing for their first conferences with parents. Unlike Back-to-School Night where parents receive general information about the school, a conference with your…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Sep. 23, 2019

If We Don’t Give Students the Freedom to Choose What They Read, They May Choose Not to Read at All

Once again there is a story about censorship in schools. A Catholic school in Tennessee has decided their students should not read Harry Potter because they…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted July 12, 2019
Teacher interacting with schoolboy in classroom

Here Are 8 Things That Make a Good School

Educators have difficulty agreeing upon what makes a “good school.” My thoughts about this topic have continued to change as I progressed through K-12, earned…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted Nov. 13, 2018

I’m a Teacher and I Stopped Saying the Pledge of Allegiance a Long Time Ago

Good morning students. Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the…

By Shawnta S. Barnes

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Posted July 13, 2020

White Progressives Have a Lot of Work to Do, and I’m Not Here to Help

When I ran for school board it was the former Minneapolis mayor who was the first elected official to endorse me. She asked me a…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted July 13, 2020

Pandemic or Not, Students Need Great Content Paired With Strong Teaching

When teachers welcomed their students on the first day of school last September, they never imagined ending the year on Zoom. Now, as the new…

By Candice McQueen

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Posted July 13, 2020

5 Ways School Leaders Can Respond to the Challenges Ahead and Open Stronger

There is no doubt educators are exhausted from a trial-by-fire school year. As a virulent pathogen spread, we were forced to abandon brick and mortar…

By Jen Murtha, Lynette Guastaferro

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