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Sam Barker: Teachers inspiring the future

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Teachers inspired future teachers…this was true in Sam Barker’s case.
Barker said he decided to pursue teaching because of inspiration from his instructors at King University during this final year of undergrad.
“ They were kind and selfless and constantly gave of themselves to better their students,” he explained.
The 24-year-old husband and dog dad of two, now teaches junior and senior-level math classes, such as Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Statistics, at Hampton High School.
Barker said his favorite part about his work is his students.
“There are endless faces that I see on a given day and each face has a different story,” he said.  “Getting to know these students is my driving force to continue teaching.  Math is great and all, but students make the job enjoyable. “
From his work, Barker said that he also earned a vast new set of responsibilities. 
“Until this job, I had only been responsible for myself,” he said.  “Since I have started teaching, I am now responsible for every student in my classroom. “
In spite of the extra responsibilities, he loves his place of work and the people in it. 
“My class sizes are wonderful; some teachers have almost double the number of students,: he began. “Hampton has been a wonderful place to teach because the faculty and staff answer my millions of questions with a smile.”
Barker’s biggest goal is what he teaches his students. He aims to teach course material at mastery level. As a result, he is also always teaching himself mathematics. Additionally, he wants to help teach his students how to be functional, peace-making, gracious adults. 
Due to COVID-19, Barker admitted his work has been a challenge.
“My main drive to go into work is to see the students and social distancing has hampered that significantly,” he said. “In general, my wife and I have had more time together, so that has been great.  But I really miss seeing my students.”
Barker hopes that despite the unprecedented time school is set to begin in, students will be able to take responsibility for their own education. 
“It’ll be really easy for students to shirk their duties this upcoming year.  Teachers want their students to succeed and this year we will be relying even more on the students and their parents to stack hands with us so that we can make that happen,” he said. 
He also had a message for students.
 “Students, you are loved and missed and we are excited to be a part of your lives,” he said.