• About Me

     Overlooking Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
    This picture was taken at the entrance of a cave in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
    Name: Mr. John Barlow
    School: Gulph Elementary School
    Position: Fourth Grade teacher 

    Email: jbarlow@umasd.org

        As summer inches toward fall, change is in the air for both students and teachers.  Cooler nights and comfortable days will eventually accompany the transition from August to September.  My wife is never thrilled about the arrival of these cooler temperatures but my long distance running welcomes the change.  This year also marks a change in my pedagogical journey as I spent the last six years teaching at Roberts Elementary (two years in Kindergarten and four in fourth grade).  While human nature often resists change, I welcome the opportunity and look forward to forging new relationships at Gulph!
        Two summers ago, I married my wife, Lauren, and traveled to Vietnam for two weeks to experience another culture and explore a different corner of the world.  Do you know where Vietnam is on a map?  Pull up Google maps and take a look! It took us 19 hours on an airplane to reach our destination in Hanoi, Vietnam.  After exploring the city, touring the historical estates of Ho Chi Minh, and sampling the various local foods, we then explored the countryside and the life present there. Rice paddies dotted the landscape and towering mountains loomed in the distance.  The coastal plain of Ha Long Bay looked like the landscape in Lord of the Rings. Mountains stood watch over the sea and we kayaked through caves and other narrow passageways as monkeys squeaked above our heads.  Later on our trip, we spent time in the town of Hoi An, Vietnam's ancient city.  We fished with locals using traditional nets, biked along the river, and I even had a suit jacket made by one of the local tailors!  It was the trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to tell you more!  Every night, we would sit by the ocean and look out at the horizon.  As the moon slowly rose and darkness descended, bright lights suddently appeared on the horizon as squid fishing boats set out on their daily excursions.
        This summer, I will travel within the continental US to North Carolina, where my parents live on the Outer Banks.  To say my wife and I love the ocean is a big understatement!  My ideal day is sun up through sun down on the beach.  Aside from several trips to this little slice of heaven on earth, we will also visit two national parks - Shenandoah in Virginia and Joshua Tree National Park in California!  I hope to bring back many stories about the unusual desert landscape at Joshua tree and the blue ridge mountains in Virginia!    
        Please bring your stories from summer to school on the first day! I am looking forward to hearing them!