About Me

Mrs Barnes

I’m Shawnta (Shawn-tay) S. Barnes, and I’m also known as Educator Barnes.  I am a married mother of identical twin boys.

I believe being an educator is my calling.  Although I studied English education in college and have worked in the K-12 setting for over a decade, I love to teach people more than how to analyze a text.  Below, I have included information about my various endeavors:

K-12 Educator & College Adjunct Instructor ~ https://educatorbarnes.com/k12resources/

This is my 14th year as an educator.  I currently serve as a 5-8 middle school dean in Indianapolis. Previously, I have served as an elementary library/media specialist, an elementary and high school Literacy Coach, elementary English language learner teacher, and a middle and high school English Teacher.  In addition to teaching at the K-12 level, I have been an adjunct instructor at IUPUI since 2013 and Marian University since 2018.  I am a strong advocate for urban schools and culturally responsive education.


  • M.S. in Language Education            IUPUI
  • B.A. in English Education                 Purdue University


  • Language Arts 5-12
  • Reading P-12
  • English as a New Language P-12
  • Library/Media P-12
  • School Administration P-12

Writer, Editor & Book Publisher



I am currently a writer and editor for Indy K12, and I also edit for EdLanta. I previously edited work for One Public EducationD.C. K12.Secondline BlogMemphis K12, and The Educator’s Room. In addition to writing for Indy K12, I have had work published in various publications such as The 74, Huffington Post, Education Post, Citizen Education, & TWINS Magazine.

On March 31, 2019, my husband and I started a book publishing company called Barnes Brothers Books, LLC where we aim to publish diverse books for all readers.

Urban Gardener Educator ~ https://www.gardenershicole.com/

The first website I created online was Gardener Shicole.  Shicole is my middle name and my nickname.  Because I established the Gardener Shicole website before I conceived Educator Barnes, I refer to myself as Gardener Shicole for all things garden related.  I grew up growing food with my parents and now I teach my children and other people I know how to grow their own food and make harvest meals.  You can follow my urban gardening journey on Twitter and Instagram @GardenerShicole.

Genealogist ~ https://richardsonfamilylegacy.com/

A couple years after I graduated from Purdue University, I wanted to learn more about my paternal grandmother and her family.  My dad and I along with other family members began researching our family history.  This led to the creation of a 224 page Richardson family history book.  Then, I started learning more about being a genealogist and started researching other branches of my family.  Currently, I am converting the Richardson family history book to digital form so it can be a living legacy.  I hope to do the same for other branches of my family.

Podcast Host ~ Brazen Education Podcast on iTunes

December 2018, I began hosting the podcast Brazen Education, an education podcast with a focus on speaking your truth, being transparent to help others, and having no shame about it!

One comment

  1. Hi there, I have only recently discovered your blog (pertaining to education) after reading your article about why you left IPS. I live in midtown and have kiddos in two different IPS schools. I am borderline obsessed with education reform and am particularly concerned about IPS’s current trajectory. I am seeking guidance on the upcoming school board election. Will you consider writing a piece on which candidates you intend so support and why? I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Chelsea Koehring


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