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Educator of the Week - Barnette

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

As a language arts teacher at Rose Hill Middle School, Acacia Barnette wears many different hats.

"We're counselors, we're educators, we're mothers, we're nurses, we're nurturers, we're all those different things," said Barnette. "The greatest part of everything I do is 'everything' actually."

She said filling all those roles can be a big job, especially in middle school.

"I can honestly say there is nowhere else I'd like to be other than middle school," said Barnette. "I feel like I really understand what they're going through - and I'm there for them as much as I can possibly be."

Being there for them means earning the trust and respect of her students.

"They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And that's actually true," said Barnette. "During the first few days of school, you make sure the students feel like they can trust you, and you have a vested interest in their future and their learning."

This educator does have an interest in their learning and well-being.

"Not just what's in that textbook. Because at the end of that day, that's not going to matter if I don't think that you actually care about me," said Barnette. "You have to show the students that you are extremely proud of them and engrossed in them as a human being."

Barnette said she tries to set an example for young people everyday of her life - both in school, and out.

"When you're not teaching, you're teaching. Your life is the textbook out side of the school," said Barnette. "So you have to make sure you live your life accordingly and that the students see that in you everywhere that they go."