Teacher of the Week: Barnes wears many hats

Published 9:27 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

Rhonda Barnes wears many hats at Meadowview Christian School. She is the consumer finance teacher for seniors, seventh- and eighth-grade language arts instructor and serves as the librarian for the elementary school.

“I love that. I can go from seniors first period to our pre-K. It’s a lot of gear shifting in my brain, but it’s a lot of fun,” Barnes said. “That’s one reason I really enjoy education, I never do the same thing every day. I see the same students, I see the same faces every day and every week, but what we’re doing is always something different.”

Barnes is from Selma and attended Morgan Academy before earning her bachelor’s from Auburn University Montgomery.

She is now also a senior at Concordia College Alabama, where she is studying for a bachelor’s in elementary education.

Barnes began teaching years ago, but ended up working in finance for eight years before her son, Caleb, was born prematurely and she got out of the business.

That’s when she felt led to get back into the career she always knew she should be in.

“God just started to open some doors and really started to turn my heart back to education. The one draw was that I would get to be with my two boys. I would get to bring them home from school and take them to school,” Barnes said.

“Then God started to remind me of how much I just love kids in general and getting to see that light bulb come on when they’ve learned something new or they’re able to achieve something that has them stumped for a while.”

Barnes is marries to Jonathan, and they have two children of their own, Winton and Caleb.

Barnes said a couple of years ago, she pulled out an old book that told her exactly what she always knew deep down, that she was meant to be a teacher.

“My mom kept a spiral book of my school days. For every year of school, it had a place to put report cards and your school picture for the first and last day of school. At the bottom of every one of the pages was what do I want to be,” Barnes said. “I went back and looked at it a couple of years ago … and I wrote on the bottom, I want to be a teacher just like Mrs. [Terri] Austin.”

Austin was Barnes’ kindergarten teacher at Morgan Academy, and Barnes said that just reassured her that she is doing what she loves.

“It was an unrealized dream,” Barnes said. “The Lord has a way of putting you right where he wants you and I’m a firm believer in he used Caleb to get me right back where he needed me to be.”