District News

Christopher Barr - Salem Twp. Elementary

Posted on: August 3, 2016

Christopher Barr

Educational background:
William Mason High School - 1992; B.S. in Accountancy/Finance from Miami University- 1996; currently completing Masters in Education with an Early Childhood emphasis from Xavier University
What do you teach at Little Miami?
I teach third grade language arts and social studies.
Do you participate in other LM activities outside of the classroom?
I would like to become more involved in LM activities, but I am not currently involved in anything in LM outside of school.
What is your story? Why did you become a teacher?
I was a CPA for about 13 years prior to returning to college to become licensed to be a teacher.  I decided that I wanted to go into education because I enjoy working with children and helping them to reach their potential. During my accounting career I taught Junior Achievement and volunteered in my mother's kindergarten classroom during my vacation time. I really enjoyed working with the children and tutoring them and that lead me to teaching.
What is the biggest challenge facing teachers today?
I think the biggest challenge for teachers today is the transition to a much more technology-based educational world. I believe most teachers want to integrate technology more into the curriculum, but the necessary resources are not always available. This is not just a LM problem, but a problem in most school districts. I know that LM does the best it can with the resources available and that we are always striving to come up with ways to do better in the future. This district-wide desire is one of the reasons that I was attracted to LM as a teacher.
What is are the best part about teaching at Little Miami?
The best part is the students. Getting to know them and discovering how they learn is an awesome and never ending process. The challenge is very rewarding and I look forward to it every day.  
What is a favorite memory from your career at Little Miami?
I had a student who struggled with pretty much everything at the beginning of the year.  He would get frustrated to tears often. Throughout the year we worked on building his confidence up and he began improving. By the end of the year he had transformed into one of the best students in the class. The memory about this that I will remember forever is the day that he came up to me toward the end of the year and thanked me for helping him to be smart. His parents also told me that he had told them that he wanted to be a teacher like me when he grew up.
Tell us something people/students may not know about you.
While working as a CPA, I had the opportunity to go and live in South Africa for a short time. While there I worked for a not-for-profit company that was cleaning penguins that had been covered with oil because of an oil tanker spill. My job was to do the accounting, but I also had the opportunity to help clean and feed the penguins. At the height of the oil spill there were over 20,000 penguins that were oil-covered. This time has given me a lot of great stories that I use in my classroom throughout the year. It was also during this time that I co-taught a class teaching English to people new to South Africa.