Monday Musings: My June 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

Shawnta S Barnes Headshot

Why This Teacher Leader is Leaving IPS 6/23/2018 & Departing Teacher Leader Answers Your Question 6/27/2018

On Saturday, June 23, 2018, my Indy/Ed piece “Why This IPS Teacher Leader is Leaving IPS” was published.  In less than 48 hours, it had 6,500 views and I was flooded with messages.  As of last evening, it had almost 9,000.  I love responding to reader comments and private messages.  Reader comments help me consider different perspectives or another angle to cover and feedback also lets me know when I need to continue a story.  The next piece I had planned to write about my professional journey was about what I was doing next.  That will come later.  After spending hours responding to concerns and questions, I felt it was best to write a follow-up piece.

If you follow me on social media, you are well aware that my sons and I have been spending time watching one of my favorite shows from my childhood, Are You Afraid of the Dark?  We finished season two right after I wrote these two articles about why I decided to resign from Indianapolis Public Schools.  When the words, I quoted below were spoken on the season two episode “The Tale of the Dream Machine,” I thought about the aftermath of the pieces I wrote.

Writing a story down on paper is very different than telling it out loud.  When a story is on paper, you can feel it, you can see it, and others can read it as well. But beware, for once a story is written, it no longer belongs to the author, but has a life of its own and for some stories, that can be a very dangerous life indeed.

Every day, including today, since my articles were published, I have seen them appear on social media.  I assert that some people are being dangerous online by taking excerpts out of context to promote their own agenda.  I’m not interested in any of that.  I deliberately made sure my first article was published during a non peak Indy/Ed time because the shares and the views on social media weren’t important to me for this piece. What was important is that I needed to tell my story for me. If others were helped or if I  made other people feel less alone in their educational journey, I am glad.

A free tip from this English educator: please read articles in their entirety before you hop on the bandwagon or someone else’s agenda without knowing the whole story or all of the facts.

Indy/Ed June blog posts 

6/3/2018 Ethnic Studies Course Feedback is Needed
6/7/2018 What’s in a Name? Identity!
6/11/2018 Mental Health Remains Stigmatized in the Black Community While Black Youth Continue to Die from Suicide
6/16/2018 Black with Kids: Representation Matters so be Intentional about It
6/17/2018 “At Least You Are in the Picture” – A Father’s Day Reflection
6/19/2018 Juneteenth:  Children Should Learn about this Day in School
6/23/2018 Why This Teacher Leader is Leaving IPS
6/27/2018 Departing IPS Teacher Leader Answers Your Questions
6/28/2018 Want to Find a Good School? Pay Attention to Where Teachers Send Their Kids.
6/29/2018 Four Reasons Teacher Harriet from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is Awesome.

Featured article for The Educator’s Room and my reflection 

Teachers, Don’t Spend All Summer in PD; Practice Some Self Care 6/30/2018

Summer is a perfect opportunity to take care of yourself, but many educators use most of the summer as a time to do more work.  Yes, I understand at some point you will need to get those lesson plans together for next school year, but do you really need to start working on them right after the school year ends? 

Self care is hard for me.  I know other parents can relate.  I feel like I am always on the run for my sons.  If I run myself into the ground, then I won’t be able to take care of them nor will I be ready for the next school year.  Please take care of yourself and relax a little.

The Educator’s Room June Article

6/30/2018 Teachers, Don’t Spend All Summer in PD; Practice Some Self-Care

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

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