‘Today will be a good day’

Teacher keeps positive outlook for life in classroom

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Photo by: Libby Sullivan

Story by: Chloe Trejo, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“Today will be a good day,” she tells herself as she jumps out of bed to get ready for the day. Her positive outlook on life allows her to help motivate those around her to put in their best efforts.

Read 180 teacher Andrea Barnes works diligently in order to inspire and teach her students. Barnes said she likes to help her students to achieve their goals and strive to be their best.

“I have a chance to change a life, and make a difference, by just being an example to students and to teachers,” she said.

Before teaching Read 180, Barnes said she learned to work hard when she taught Physical Education and coached athletes.

“My professors always said that ‘All you need to do it is get out there and run with the kids,’ but that was not true,” she said. “I was just frustrated when the athletes weren’t giving 100 percent, because I expect people to give 100 percent in everything they do.”

After coaching athletics, Barnes said she worked in the classroom for student teaching and loved it.

“I just loved having my own room and setting it up. I loved making a difference in student lives, especially reading,” she said. “My students come into my classroom and tell me their hopes and dreams, and I want them to strive and go after them.”

Last year Barnes created the FRED Award based off of a book study she lead by the same name. The award recognizes the hard work of administration, teachers and the students in the school.

“I really liked the FRED philosophy because it’s for someone with a regular job, like a postal worker, that goes above and beyond,” she said. “All of us have an ordinary job, and I just want everyone to go above and beyond to try. We’re all ordinary but they try to be extraordinary.”

In order to teach her students the best way she can, Barnes said she utilizes her trips around the world to show her students.

“I travel all around the world, and I like being able to share the world with my students,” Barnes said. “I video going up in the Eiffel Tower, and they can see the sights. I do it just so the students can see there’s a whole world out there, and they need to get a job they love and save their money starting now. And just to enjoy life, because there’s so much out there to go see.”

As a way of staying positive in life, Barnes said she has no tolerance for negativity in her life or classroom.

“I don’t want to have any negativity inside of me, because life’s too short to have any sadness,” Barnes said. “We have sadness all around us, and I’m not focusing on that. I just want to go through life happy, excited, because we don’t know how long we have.”

After 27 years of teaching, Barnes said she still wakes up excited for the day and enjoys it to the fullest.

“I just want to love my job; this is my 27 year of teaching and I’ve never hit the snooze button in my life,” she said. “Maybe someone isn’t having a good day, and you can just try to help them see that life is okay and everything is going to be alright.”