Monday Musings: My April 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


Your Spiritual Leader Does Not Need to be Your Educational Leader 4/8/2018

As much as I see the value of the black church, I also see the detriment the black church currently plays in our society.  Too many black Christians confuse blindly following Christ with blindly following pastors and preachers in our community.  My great uncle Walter Jimison was the Pastor of First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana until he became too ill.  He was known for saying, “Some preachers were called and some just went.”  As it is frequently said in the black church, “Some of you will get that on the way home.”

Just in case you can’t figure this out, let me continue.  He took ministry seriously and believed it was his calling and as an educator, I believe teaching is my calling and my gift.  Everyone is not made for this work of educating our children and this includes some pastors and preachers.  Secular education is not the same as spiritual education.  If you are a black parishioner, at some point in time, your pastor has probably quoted 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  Typically this scripture is shared to emphasize the importance of being knowledgeable about the word of God whether you are in the pulpit or sitting in the pews.  Your pastor might have great knowledge of the bible and provides you great spiritual counseling, but this does not mean your pastor has the knowledge or skill to influence your education decisions nor be responsible for a school.

Unfortunately, for our children, a lot of people are stepping into the school arena who do not need to be there including some pastors.  Some spiritual leaders do not understand what is best for students’ education nor do they understand how a school should operate.  Attending school is not a good enough credential to think you can lead a school or tell your parishioners which schools their children should attend.  My advice:  Don’t stop with one source; speak to multiple sources when it comes to your children’s education and make sure some of those sources are educators.


Indy/Ed April blog posts 

4/2/2018 Dr. King’s Assassination 50 Years Later:  Looking Back and Moving Forward
4/3/2018 Dr. King’s Assassination 50 Years Later:  Looking Back and Moving Forward, James Stockton’s Perspective
4/3/2018 Dr. King’s Assassination 50 Years Later:  Looking Back and Moving Forward, Mildred Guyse’s Perspective
4/4/2018 Dr. King’s Assassination 50 Years Later:  Looking Back and Moving Forward, Sue Wright’s Perspective
4/4/2018 Dr. King’s Assassination 50 Years Later:  Looking Back and Moving Forward, George Geder’s Perspective
4/8/2018 Your Spiritual Leader Does Not Need to Be Your Educational Leader
4/11/2018 National Library Week
4/19/2018 Why I Write: Shawnta S. Barnes
4/26/2018 New Law Kicks Some Indiana Kindergartners to the Curb
4/30/2018 El día de los niños/El día de los libros

Featured article from The Educator’s Room and my reflection

Are Elementary Teachers Jacks of All Trades or Masters of None?  4/19/2018

But if you want to know what is happening in elementary school, you have to work in one. I spent the three years in between being a middle school English teacher and my current role working in two different elementary schools.  In one school, I was a K-5 English language learner teacher and in the other school, I was a K-6 literacy coach. One school was rated an A and the other was rated an F. In my role as both an English language learner teacher and as a literacy coach, I spent time in almost every classroom in each building. That’s when it became clear to me what was really going on in elementary schools – too many elementary teachers were jacks of all trades and masters of none.  Regardless of the rating of the school, some elementary teachers did not know the content for all subjects at a high level. This was the reason students showed up to middle school unprepared because their teachers lacked the depth of knowledge in all of the subject areas. 

I have been sitting on this article for months.  I rewrote it numerous times and finally, I said, “I’m putting it out into the world.”  Some people in the world were pissed off about what I said…maybe the truth stung too much.  I’m not trying to create enemies online, but I am also not here for fluffy articles all the time when serious issues need to be addressed such as, “What is happening in elementary schools?”  Elementary schools are the foundation for our schooling system and if those educators don’t know the content well in all subject areas, then we are setting students up for failure.

The Educator’s Room April Article

4/19/2018 Are Elementary Teachers Jacks of All Trades or Masters of None?

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

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