Above: Barbara Barklow pauses during instruction for a photo.
Barbara Barklow, an English teacher at Thornton Academy, was recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Barklow started to teach at Thornton Academy 13 years ago. Before Thornton Academy, she taught at a small boarding school in New Hampshire.
She chose to teach at Thornton Academy because she “liked its proximity to Portland, and liked the experience I could have teaching in the classroom, where I could bring in my own twist on things and my own interests to make it more interesting for students.”
The grant she received will let her join 36 other teachers at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers to study a course titled; Remaking Monsters and Heroines. In the course, she and the other teachers will learn about literary adaptations of Frankenstein and Cinderella and their roles in popularizing the catalogue of literature.
Barklow learned about the grant through her use of Twitter. She uses twitter as “a personal learning network” where she can “connect with other teachers and see what is out there in terms of opportunity and educational news.”
“To me,” she said, “the grant gives me validation for my hard work.” It is also “really exciting because it is going to allow me to make the classroom experience even better for my students.”
Barklow said she believes this grant will be directly applied to her Senior English elective, Monsters and Misfits. The elective is about helping students create their own adaptations of literature such as Frankenstein.
As the school year wraps up, Mrs. Barklow is looking forward to her new educational journey sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. “I am a little bit crazy,” she said, “instead of summer break, I am going to learn. However, I would say if I can be an example for anything, it is that learning does not stop when you graduate from school.