Monday Musings: My March Writing Review

writing badges indy ed and ter

My first Monday Musings of each month will include links to all the pieces I wrote during the previous month and my reflections about a few of those pieces.

Currently, I am a writer for two publications, Indy/Ed and The Educator’s Room.

Indy/Ed is an education blog that is part of the Citizen Education network. This network includes blogs in L.A.D.C.NOLA and Memphis.

The Educator’s Room is a publication where teachers are empowered as the experts in education.

I am humbled to be part of a two great education publications.

Featured Indy/Ed blog post and my reflection

Educator Barnes Speaks to the Indiana Senate about School Discipline 3/6/2018

After waiting for four hours, I was finally able to share my personal experiences as shown in the video above.  With amendments added to address bullying and cyberbullying, the bill passed out of the Senate Education and Career Development committee with a unanimous 11 to 0 vote.  Now, I’m waiting for the full Senate to vote on the bill.  I hope the journey for HB 1421 ends the same way as the “I’m Just a Bill” episode.

Congressman: He signed you, Bill! Now you’re a law!

Bill: Oh yes!!!

I’m glad to report that House Bill 1421 School Discipline passed through the full Senate and Governor Holcomb also signed it into law.  Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the Indiana Department of Education will provide guidance for Indiana schools on implementing research-based discipline plans and professional development for staff.

I was glad to be part of the process and advocate for Indiana students.  Getting a law passed is just one component.  Now, the hard work begins.  Schools have to take the law seriously and be willing to implement sound plans that will help keep students in the classroom as well as training teachers on the best methods to achieve this goal.  Currently, many administrators are making these demands without providing the support.

Will we know this law is most effective when the rates of students being removed from class drops significantly especially for students of color who are disproportionately removed from class.

Indy/Ed March blog posts 

3/1/2018 Five Lessons I Learned from Michelle Obama
3/6/2018 Educator Barnes Speaks to the Indiana Senate about School Discipline
3/7/2018 Phenomenal Indiana Woman:  Shavonne L. Holton
3/9/2018 Get Racist Teachers out of the Classroom
3/11/2018 Read Across America Day Should Not be Celebrated on Dr. Seuss’ Birthday
3/14/2018 Student Activists Should Be Well Informed
3/15/2018 Phenomenal Indiana Woman:  Nikia D. Garland
3/20/2018 Does DeVos Really Want a Safe and Nurturing Environment for All Students?
3/22/2018 Phenomenal Indiana Woman:  Cherie Sanders
3/24/2018 Is it White Flight or Class Flight?

Featured article from The Educator’s Room and my reflection

Are the Kids Alright?  Student Reflections on School Shootings 3/3/2018

It saddened me to hear my students say teachers are not doing enough to help with bullying and that schools are not taking common sense safety measures to ensure doors are locked and people are not finding unsecured entry points.   What broke my heart the most was the hopeless undercurrent in some of their responses where they think nothing else will work except arming their teachers.

What I have enjoyed most about teaching high school this year is the discussions and conversations I have had with my students.  As my students like to say, “Mrs. Barnes likes to keep it real.”  I don’t like to sugarcoat reality.  My parents did not do that with me and I believe we hold children back when we hide certain aspects of our society or don’t give students a safe place to express themselves.  My job is to facilitate the conversation and not to persuade them to believe what I believe.  I did share with my students that I don’t want to be armed and we discussed why I felt this way…boy did some of them try to convince me to change my mind.  I think I have taught them too much about counterarguments and supporting details!  In all seriousness, if we don’t give students safe spaces to express themselves and process ideas and the viewpoints of others, they could get trapped in the loneliness and dark thoughts in their mind and make a poor choice from which there is no return.

The Educator’s Room March Article

3/3/2018 Are the Kids Alright?  Student Reflections on School Shootings

I appreciate your readership.  If there is something you would like me to write about, let me know.

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