Tina Barron ‘thinks outside the box’ at DMS

Savannah Chastain
Tina Barron uses a teaching style that caters to each student’s learning ability by incorporating lessons learned from motherhood and past teaching assignments. “When you have a special needs child it makes you more in-tuned to those discrete needs that every child needs,” she said.

Tina Barron’s classroom in Destin Middle School is bright and cheery. Lime-green paper globes, and matching deck chairs accent the room, and several reading nooks bring character and a homey feeling to the new English teacher’s domain.

“This is my first year in Destin with my own classroom,” said Barron, adding that 11 years ago she worked as a remediation instructor at DMS but shared a room with another teacher. “I’m happy to be back in Destin it’s just an amazing school.”

Barron will be teaching sixth and seventh-grade language arts this school year, which will mark 10 years in the school system. For the past five years, she has taught language arts at CHOICE High School and Technical Center in Fort Walton Beach, and said she hopes to bring her experience there to enrich the learning of her students at DMS.

“I think, since I’ve worked with at-risk population I’m pretty intuitive and pretty flexible,” said Barron. “It will help me utilize the available resources we haven’t had and really be able to communicate with the parents.”

Barron told The Log, that in any teaching position the key to success is simply acknowledging student individuality by both understanding and anticipating each student’s needs.

“They know if you really care about them or not,” she said. “You have kids that learn differently, some hands-on, and some by hearing; some are more artsy or kinesthetic. You just have to think outside the box sometimes, and then you get good work.”

Barron has already implemented some visual help around the room as a large board on the back wall reads ‘I Can.’

“This board will have the objectives that they can work on throughout the year,” said Barron. “It will help them know what we are working on as far as reading, speaking, listening and writing.”

Another visual stimulator is the ‘Help’ board.

“Students can place a post-it anonymously with an, ‘I don’t get it,’ if they need help understanding something so I know we need to go over it again,” she said explaining that this relieves the peer-pressure for this very self-aware age group.

After many years in the high school scene, Barron said she is most excited to be returning to the middle school crowd.

“I’m looking forward to working with the younger group, and to be able to tap into their tech-suaviness,” she said. “I’m just happy to be a part of the Marlin team.”