Educator Barnes was created as a place to share resources and my thoughts about education. Over the years, I’ve gained a little bit of a following. To those of you who read what I write, thank you. To those of you who respond to what I write, thank you. To those of you who challenge what I write, thank you.
I’m an introvert who loves to write. I took a personality assessment for my job earlier this year, and the results said I was 90% introverted…but that doesn’t mean I’m shy. Writing is a way for me to process my thoughts and put them out in a way where I’m heard. In person, I can be scatterbrained sometimes. Please forgive me if you have had that experience.
Here are the top ten blog posts I’ve written during this decade. I also decided to include a reflection and/or update for each post that got your attention.
I had a lot going on during this time. I decided to begin a PhD program, stop teaching college level courses, and change to a different role in education. What has stayed the same is I am still not teaching college courses. I did that for six years straight and have enjoyed the break. I also decided to switch from my PhD program at IUPUI to an EdD at IU Bloomington. I did not switch because an EdD program is easier; it is not. I switched because I did not enjoy the PhD program. The EdD program is an extension of my master’s. I love it. I also earned an A in my first class in the program this semester.
One of my former roles was as a gifted/high ability building coordinator, and even I missed the asynchronous development my own child was facing. My sons are always told they are smart; however, their emotional development is not on par with their intellectual development. Even though they can do what older kids do, sometimes they just want to do what kids their age are doing. Also, I mentioned we were waiting to hear back about if they got into the gifted program for third grade; they didn’t. I’m glad. Some educators, on the condition of anonymity, told me to not let my sons be in the program even if they got in…so there’s that, but that’s another story for another time.
I’m still surprised I earned this award. When you stay true to who you are, you are seen. I appreciate being recognized. I even put my award on display in my new house.
I’m always pushing myself to the next level, and my husband is always there with me. We decided to start our own publishing company named for our identical twin sons. The first two books we published were written by them. An update is our company is now a Lexile certified company. Both our sons’ books have an official Lexile, and our future books will have one, too.
I’m simply tired of the lies we tell students about Thanksgiving and other historical events. Tell the truth.
I wish this piece wasn’t on this list because I wish sweet Aisha was still here with us. It was a hard piece to write, but when life is hard, it’s when writing helps the most. Aisha’s mom read what I wrote, and she responded to me. That meant a lot.
This blog post was either widely celebrated or pissed people off. I heard from religious leaders across the country who told me they appreciated my candor and that what I wrote gave them lots to consider. I also spent part of my winter break last year in Mississippi dealing with angry messages. One ‘well-meaning’ church member told me I needed therapy. I didn’t realize being honest meant you were mentally unstable What people missed is my husband’s perspective. There was the misconception we left because of me. The true story is if we didn’t compromise and it was solely up to my husband, we would have left years ago. We have been tithe paying non-members of a church for a little over a year. I discovered some of my family members on both my mom and dad’s side attend. Most importantly, our sons love the church. They said it was so much better than our last church. My husband currently does not want to join a church, but he wants to continue attending. That’s where we are…tithe paying non members. Check back next year to see if we joined.
Again, I pissed off some church folks. I even got a good talking to the next week at church. You all know I stay unbothered, and I’m unapologetic about what I write. Religious leaders are out here telling lies, and I’m just telling the truth. If you want to keep believing lies, that’s on you.
Dr. Seuss is loved by children and families around the world, but he produced problematic cartoons. Educators need to be willing to address this. In the blog post, I provided some perspective. Other educators have told me they share this blog post with colleagues when Dr. Seuss becomes a point of contention.
This blog post struck a chord with people across race and age. I heard from older black people who shared incidences of racism. One person told me how a white person didn’t want to be in the pool with him because the person believed black skin is dirty. A lot of my black friends cannot swim. Most of those friends have sent their children to swim lessons. My willingness to learn with my children motivated some of them to think about getting lessons…yes, I meant think. None have acted yet, but I’m not giving up hope. My swimming is ugly, and I suck at turning my head and breathing, but I went from fearing the pool from being able to get in it and swim. That’s progress. I’m going to keep working at it. It may take me years to get where I need to be, but at least I’m willing to stay in the fight.
Much love to all of my readers. Enjoy these last few days of 2019 because 2020 is around the corner, and we have dreams to achieve.