• 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: Roberts 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 accompany us back to school at the beginning of September.  My wife is never thrilled about the arrival of these cooler temperatures but my long distance running welcomes the change.  This will be my fourth year teaching fourth grade at Roberts and I can hardly control my enthusiasm for my new group of fourth graders.  Many children from this group arrived at Roberts during the 2014-2015 school year when I taught Kindergarten!  This adds a level of excitement to my role as your child's teacher. In addition to these children, I'm really excited to meet the many new students to Roberts!  Don't be nervous!  We will guide you along to make the transition smooth.  Dr. Grazel, our principal, is so friendly!
        Last summer, I got married 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 towered 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.  Can you predict why these man-made lights were out on the sea?  You'll have to wait until the first week of school to find out!
        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 be doing hiking, white water rafting, and exploring in Asheville, NC, Moab, Utah, and Colorado.    
    All the best, 
        Please bring your stories from summer to school on the first day! I am looking forward to hearing them!