Samantha Barnes

5th Grade Teacher

Ms. Barnes was raised right here in sunny San Diego where she balanced her time between the beach, the dance studio, and surrounded by her family around the dinner table at grandma’s house. She wakes up with an abundance of energy and doesn’t stop moving until her head hits the pillow. Whether she’s dancing, writing on her blog, playing fetch with her dog, or snuggling up with a book, she always has something leaving her in awe and wonder. She has a heart that was built for serving others and has an everyday goal to make love a verb and grace be known. Ms. Barnes experienced her own unique educational path. She teetered between the love of learning and the difficulty of processing and retaining content. Ms. Barnes found hope when she found her teachers. They hold responsibility for her passionately pursuing her own dreams of becoming an educator. She attended Chapman University, (Go Panthers!) graduating with a B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies and a minor in Disability Studies and Leadership practices. In 2017, Ms. Barnes was accepted into Teach For America program and took a leap of faith where they placed her down south in Nashville, Tennessee as a Kindergarten teacher. Through this program is where Ms. Barnes was exposed to the truth of teaching in the midst of brokenness. Where the school became her student’s sanctuary, hugs became their safe haven, and their stories were the songs of her prayers. It was here where Ms. Barnes learned to advocate for a whole-child learning approach. Where she fell in love with Universal Design for Learning, placing need at the center of her lessons and love and creativity in executing her plans. She wants her students to know in her class they are forever accepted, unconditionally loved, and invested in. They will be encouraged to ask honest questions, adopt a deep sense of critical thinking, and grow beyond their own expectations.

Favorite Bible verse:  God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the Called. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29