Monday Musings: Two Days – Two Features


Feature One

I’m newbie when it comes to listening to podcasts.  The first podcast I ever listened to was Dead Oaks which was created by a cool guy, Christopher Waltz, who I taught across the hall from in a former school.  (Now, he has a new podcast called All My Ghosts, so check it out). Last year, when I started writing for The Educator’s Room (TER), was the first time I listened to an education podcast which was the one produced by TER.  I never imagined I would actually be on one.  Over the last months, I have been asked to be a guest on four different podcasts and my third guest podcast spot aired yesterday.  I was on Truth for Teachers hosted by Angela Watson.  On her website she shares:

Truth for Teachers is consistently ranked in the top ten K-12 podcasts on iTunes. Each Sunday, a new short episode is released to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators. Subscribe below to get a fresh dose of inspiration for the week ahead!

My episode is called, “Why great teachers get saddled with the biggest workload (and how to advocate for yourself).”

Here’s an excerpt:

But the problem occurs when you’re doing your job well and then there are other people in your building who aren’t doing so well. And instead of helping that person get better, it’s like, “Oh, Shawnta can handle those kids, just transfer that person to Shawnta’s class.” That’s where I started to notice and would say, “You know what, no big deal. If the kid was struggling in that class, they can come to my class.” I didn’t even make a big deal of it, but then it got to the point where on one hand as an educator, they make you feel guilty. When you don’t want to work with those kids anymore, you don’t want to do your fair share, and it’s like, “Well that’s not what I’m saying. This is not fair. Your solution to the problem is just to remove them, not deal with the problem of someone else not owning their weight, and just let me take it on.” That’s when I really started to feel burnt out.

I was at the point that if I didn’t do something differently, I was going to walk away from education, and I did not want to do that. So I said, “What can I do to stay in education, refocus, get myself together, and not walk out on the profession?” Because I did what I tell teachers to do, such as to advocate for yourself. And it didn’t really get me anywhere, so the one lever I had was to leave.

Click here to read the transcript and/or listen to the podcast.

Feature Two


Today, I was featured in the September issue of One Voice Blog Magazine.  I was honored to be included in this issue.  The women who are part of this publication are women I admire and they fight for children that look like my sons.  I wrote a piece for the September issue called, “Was School Integration a Blessing or a Curse?”

Check out this excerpt:

Today, we are in a struggle for education equity within integrated schools.  Is this the case in all integrated schools? No. But for inequity to exist in even one school, it is one school too many.  As black parents, all we ever hear about is the achievement gap and about how numerous methods implemented to ensure our black children are achieving at the same rates as their white counterparts are not working.  Then, these so-called education reformers get mad when we move our children to a different school. They even try to tell us that our children will suffer if we pull them out of an integrated school and put them into a school that happens to be predominately black.  You don’t see black parents going up to the suburbs and telling white parents their white kids are going to suffer from being around too many white people, so don’t question black parents when you are comfortable with your children being in a mostly homogenous school.

Click here to read the entire piece.

Moving Forward

I am appreciative of all of these opportunities, but sometimes it is overwhelming for an introvert like me.  I push forward because I know we need more transparency because it helps others.  As of today, I have two more upcoming features that I’m excited about and possibly a third, so stay tuned!

One more thing…I love this comment!




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