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Nottingham Primary Academy

5 Minutes with Mr Barker

At Nottingham Academy we are very lucky to have some fantastic Teachers in school, providing outstanding teaching and learning opportuinites for our pupils. To celebrate World Teachers Day we had a chat with Mr Barker to learn a little more about how he came to be a teacher.

How long have you been a teacher?

6 years and also two years in Japan as well.

Have you had any other jobs?
When I came back from Japan I worked in IT for two years before doing my teacher training. I didn't enjoy this very much but I learnt some useful IT skills for teaching. I learnt how to make home videos and this has become a bit of a hobby. Before that I taught English in Japan for two years, working in a mix of elementary and junior high schools. I lived in a small city just outside Hiroshima. 

What is the best thing about your job?
When the children come to you in-between lessons and share something they have done extra by themselves. It's a great feeling when you realise that you've inspired the children to achieve something new. The best thing about working in schools though is without doubt the energy and enthusiasm that the children bring with them. It makes every day refreshing and rewarding. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? 
Learning 1000 different names. Working across both sites and with so many staff and children is tricky, but I enjoy the challenge of it. It takes me back to my time in Japan when I taught at up to 6 schools at a time and had to visit them all over a fortnightly period. That was very intense but also a lot of fun. I enjoy the variety my job has - no two days are ever the same. 

What did you want to be when you were little? 
A writer. I liked the idea of being a journalist; I thought I would like to write a book. I have an unpublished book that I hope one day to get published - maybe online. One day I might have another go at writing stories, it is something I have always enjoyed doing.

What are your favourite hobbies? 
Walking, watching Formula 1, playing music. Since I started working at Nottingham Academy music has become a really big part of my life again. I used to play in a brass band and took my trombone to Japan with my where I played in an orchestra and jazz band. Whilst I did my teacher training I didn't do a lot of music as I was focussed on my new career path, but two years ago I joined the Belvoir Big Band. I had been thinking I should get back into a group and agreed to have a go, I really enjoyed it. Just over a year later the conductor left so I agreed to have a go at conducting and found I really enjoyed that too. That has suddenly become a big part of my life and I find it very exciting to do and also it goes with my job nicely so I feel very fortunate to have been able to step into that role.
Do you have any pets? 
Two cats called Timothy and Heather. They are both 17 years old. I also have two daughters. 

Find out more about Mr Barker’s Band here or see the link below to watch them in action!