Meeting the New teacher Part 1: Mrs.Burke

By Nicole Buist

These past few  years in a pandemic have been hard. But one of the main things is to thank the teachers all around the world. At our school SBJH we have to also thank the new teachers that are stepping up at teaching during this time. I was fortunate enough to interview Mrs.Burke, and our new 7th Grade English teacher, Mr.Larsen. Since they were new at our school I thought it would be best to get to know them, so first we have Mrs.Burke. 

But first an introduction to Mrs.Burke. Mrs.Burke  is our 7th grade English teacher that is located in room 156 and this is her first year teaching jr.high and her 7th year teaching, she taught high school for 6 years. 

One of the questions I asked that I thought was interesting was “Why did you choose  English to teach?”. I chose this question because I’m always interested in what got teachers into teaching and each story is all different. For Mrs.Burke it started in college, she didn’t know what subject to major in but her interests in her Literature classes, is what got her thinking, she loved the deep discussions about different perspectives of reading a book, how there were multiple ways to read the text. After college Mrs.Burke had no idea what she wanted to be, but she did some camp counseling so she knew she liked to work with kids. Later she started to volunteer with the 11th grade English teacher at San Marcos, which led her to becoming a teacher. 

Since we are in middle school or jr.high I had to ask what is one of their favorite memories from jr.high or middle school. Mrs. Burke’s story was quite interesting and funny. Her 7th grade English, threw sandals at our history teacher because she was mad at him , and it kinda showed her that the teacher had other lives than just teaching and it was all just very funny to her. 

Since when we meet new teachers we don’t know a way to open up to them I asked the question “what is something that you would want your students to know about you”. Mrs.Burke had the most amazing response she said “I think that I care about them, I hope that by the end of the year they felt like I cared about who they are as people, and that it wasn’t, it never was about the grade or about turning in the assignment, it was about them getting to know themselves as learners, as thinkers,as Collaborators, and also that if they saw me out and around town that they can say hi because I will definitely say hi, and not try to embarrass them” 

Since we teachers in the beginning of the year get to know their students I thought what better question we could ask that was vice versa, and I thought of “what is something you like to do in your free time”. Mrs.Burke said that she liked to rock climb, you should see her down at some of the rock climbing stations around, she also likes to cook and eat so that goes together but something awesome is that she just adopted a kitten, so she has been spending lots of time with it. 

One question I was curious about is “what is the main goal or something you were to contribute to our school?”. Mrs.Burke respond was very inspiring she said “I mean, I think so much of the staff here, from what I’ve seen already, are so committed to students and the community, and I just want to be part of that, i want to have, or i guess I want to find my place in the school community, so that i can better serve this community that i have lived in for the past 15 years”. I agree so much with her response, our teachers have been staying after school for us and working day and night grading papers and responding to email so thank you. 

After hearing all of Mrs.Burke’s responses, I can concur that she is an amazing teacher, (not that we didn’t know that already). All in all, we are Fortunate to have Mrs.Burke as one of our English teachers. 

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