Shawnta S. Barnes

Shawnta (Shawn-tay) S. Barnes, also known as Educator Barnes, is a married mother of identical twin boys. She navigates education from not only the educator’s perspective but also the parent’s perspective. She has been an educator for nearly two decades. Shawnta works with K-12 schools, universities, & education adjacent organizations through her education consulting business Blazing Brilliance. She is an adjunct college professor, supervises student teachers, Indy Kids Winning Editor-in-Chief, Brave Brothers Books Co-founder, & CEO, and Brazen Education Podcast host. She holds five education licenses: English/language arts 5-12, English to speakers of other languages P-12, library/media P-12, reading P-12, and school administration P-12, and she has held a job in every licensed area. Previously, she has served as a school administrator, English teacher, English learners teacher, literacy coach, and librarian. She won the 2019 Indiana Black Expo Excellence in Education Journalism Award. In 2023, she completed her doctorate in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education with a minor in Learning Sciences. She is an urban gardener in her spare time and writes about her harvest-to-table journey at To learn more about Shawnta, visit

Posts By Shawnta S. Barnes

Black Excellence Breeds Unrecognized Jealousy Among White Women Teachers

One day I was scrolling, and I came across a TikTok video by @teachthemkindness. In this video, a white teacher shared her perspective about why, at times, there is tension between Black and white...

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Hey Shawnta! How Do I Tell My Principal That I Don’t Want to Sponsor an After-School Activity?

Hey Shawnta! How do I tell my principal that I don’t want to sponsor an after-school activity? That’s easy. Just say no. Okay … stay with me. If you are asking this question, the real question might...

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Special Education

Hey Shawnta! Does Dyslexia Present Differently in Gifted or Multi-Exceptional Learners?

Hey Shawnta! Does dyslexia present differently in gifted or multi-exceptional learners? Signed, Tenacious Teacher - because we all need a good alliteration If I could earn one more certification, it...

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Hey Shawnta! How Can I Get My Children to Read More?

Hey Shawnta! How can I get my children to read more? As a kid, I stayed with my grandmother during the summer. She did not have cable. She had the main channels you could get with an antenna. My...

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Hey Shawnta! Field Trips Went Away During the Pandemic. What Can I Do to Get Them Back at My Children’s School?

Hey Shawnta! Field trips went away during the pandemic. What can I do to get them back at my children’s school? Although it takes a lot of work to plan field trips, I always enjoyed getting my...

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Hey Shawnta! As an English Teacher, What Do I Need to Know About ChatGPT?

Hey Shawnta! As an English teacher, what do I need to know about ChatGPT? I am a huge sci-fi nerd. Many times people say that science fiction answers the question, “What if?” I love "The Twilight...

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