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Teacher Spotlight: Beth Burnett

Today we present Beth Burnett, ES Learning Support Teacher.

 

Introduce yourself using three words only, please.

Genuine, Loquacious, Giving

What’s something most people may not know about you?

I almost bit my tongue off when I was three years old. While climbing on a kitchen stool, I slipped, fell to the floor and banged my chin while also biting through my tongue. I was rushed into surgery to sew the gaping hole in my tongue back together. If you enjoy medical stories, just ask and I will tell you all the details of this event. It’s amazing I can talk so fast and so much! Thanks to the surgeon who fixed my tongue!

Why did you decide to become a teacher? For how long have you worked in education?

This is my thirtieth year as an educator. My passion for all things teaching and support services started as a child. At five years old, I played school with my neighbor friends; Wendy, Linda Lee and Danny. I was ALWAYS the teacher and they were the students. Even at five years old, I knew I would become a teacher. When I was six, I noticed that one of my older brothers, who was then nine years old, was really having a hard time in school. He was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Sadly, special services were not prevalent at that time in US public schools. He really became frustrated with school, as the work was too hard for him and he struggled to behave himself. Since I really loved school, it made me very sad to watch him struggle and dislike school. I remember thinking that I could become a teacher and help kids like my brother to enjoy school.

What do you love most about your job?

Witnessing the “lightbulb” turn on for my students is the best part of my job. When a student shows me wide opened eyes and/or blurts out an, “OH, I GET IT!”, that is the best feeling as an educator. Also, when a student starts the school year admitting to me that they do not like reading and they find it dreadful, I love when the year comes to an end and they tell me that they love reading now. In addition, I love helping my colleagues and parents meet the needs of their kids. After thirty years in education, I have so many experiences and ideas in my head for differentiating and I am more than happy to share with others.

Why did you choose AAS and what are your expectations?

It was by chance that I moved to Bulgaria and then a position in learning support opened at AAS. With great enthusiasm, I interviewed for and accepted the offer to join AAS Sofia as the grade 3-5 learning support teacher. I am excited to assist with and watch the learning support services program growth.

How is AAS different from your previous school?

AAS is the smallest of my previous three international schools. It is nice to be in a place where you quickly recognize faces and get to know many of the students and colleagues. The campus is beautifully designed, both inside and outside. I truly enjoy taking short breaks outside, taking in the fresh air and the view of the mountains throughout all the seasons.

Please, share an important lesson you learned from your work with students.

I believe all students are capable of learning and growing academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. As educators, if we are given the proper tools and resources we need to figure out what students are already capable of achieving, then we can meet them where they are and help them to do their best. I do not believe that students are lazy or that they come to school with negative intent. If their actions are negative, as educators, we need to dig deeper to find out the root cause of their struggles. Then, we are able to put services in place to assist them to be the best they can be.

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