Obituary for an amazing history teacher



Wow. That seems like an amazing teacher. I am shocked they let him get away with it.


I wish I had such teacher.

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They don’t in the US.


Too true. Back in the '80s I had an English teacher in Southern California who would set up intricate lessons for Julius Caesar, etc. where some pretty intense vignettes were staged. It was a blast! Of course, a couple years later I read that he was disciplined because someone complained and the parents decided to sue for exposing their darling little snowflake to reenacted literary violence.


This reminds me of my awesome high school history teacher. (Hi Mr. Matheson!) He didn’t go through the great lengths this guy did but I certainly came away from a year in his class with a much better head on my shoulders thanks to all the lessons on critical thinking and healthy skepticism.

An extraordinary teacher. Here’s to Robin Barker-James and to all the other outstanding teachers who give so much of themselves. Carpe diem.

I was lucky enough to be able to call Robin a friend, educator, and colleague. I was involved in the first year that this took place… such a WONDERFUL experience of education. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to actually participate in the actual ‘war’ due to an injury I suffered while setting up a snipers nest…
Fast forward 15 or so years and I got involved with it again! This time, for a show he wrote, taking place on the same piece of farmland that was home to the original ‘battle’. While fictional, it did have a lot of historical elements in it. Robin asked me if I’d do a sound design and build for him. I answered with an immediate YES! It was a LOT of work, unpaid, but very much worth it! 70 plus sound cues including about 15 soundscapes (10 - 20 minutes of varied sounds of both war and ‘home’ life…). I never did get to see the show due to work, but from what I can tell from hearing others talk about it, it was quite good. He had another one written for this year which I was also going to work on…and I really hope that someone will take up what he’s created and keep it going. To lose something of so much educational value would be a shame… If it comes down to it, I think there’s a group of us from the very first year who would LOVE the opportunity to carry this on in his legacy…

Robin, rest in peace my friend…


Mr. Barker-James was a teacher at the high school I attended. I didn’t have him for history, but I did have him for drama and he helped with a number of plays I was part of throughout my years at that school. He was a somewhat unusual and quirky fellow, but his intelligence and his passion were so overwhelming you couldn’t help but be fascinated by anything he was speaking about. It made me smile greatly to see this story here on BB.

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