Teach Me, Teacher

Teach Me, Teacher

#174 Teaching Outside the Curriculum with Susan Barnes (pt.1)

September 14, 2020

Hello everyone! Today, I am bringing you one of the most powerful episodes in the history of Teach Me, Teacher, and it is with Ron Clark Academy's very own, Susan Barnes!

Ms. Susan Barnes has taught language arts, creative writing, and literacy in Brooklyn and Harlem since 1996. She is a gifted staff development trainer, artist, singer and performance poet. Driven by the philosophy that ‘language is art,’ she uses her love of the arts to create language experiences that illustrate how skilled expression conveys, explores and documents the human condition.

In this episode, we dive into Susan's past, her culture, her heritage, and her teaching career, to discuss why we can't just teach the curriculum. If we want to teach our students and empower their current and future lives, we cannot let outdated and problematic curriculum dictate what students hear about their own race, culture, and history.

Her story is inspiring, to say the least, and one that will immediately make you want to rise to the occasion and fight for what is right for our students.

Susan has been doing this work for nearly thirty years, and we are all better for listening to her experience and expertise.

I can't express how much I love this talk, and I know you will get so much from it.


This episode is sponsored by Heinemann—the leading publisher of professional books and resources for educators—and their professional book, No More Teaching Without Positive Relationships by Jaleel Howard, Tanya Milner-McCall, and Tyrone Howard.

Getting to know our students during the year has always been important. But this year is definitely going to throw us all some curveballs. We’ll also get some new opportunities for building connections with our classes.

No More Teaching Without Positive Relationships looks at the importance of knowing all our students, being culturally responsive, and protecting kids’ self-esteem. And you also get useful strategies for teaching through those positive relationships as you develop them.

So, if you’re looking for support for making your student relationships even stronger, visit Heinemann.com to download a sample from No More Teaching Without Positive Relationships or order your copy.