Wednesday, July 10, 2013


This entry really isn't for the reader. It is for me. This is how I know I'm doing a good job. You don't have to keep reading. So often we, as teachers, don’t see the impact we make on the lives of our students. However, when I ask the kids to write me a letter at the end of the year I realize the impact I have made. I had a few kids this year I watched out for in particular. One I even signed the “parent signature” line on her grade report for other classes, because her parents were so disconnected. One I referred to the counselor and was the one adult he asked the counselor to share his personal information with. Some I didn’t realize I meant much to them until I read these letters. I admit I did make a few spelling and grammar corrections, but I tried to keep the integrity of these excerpts. While writing this I laughed a few times, cried four different times, and once again was reminded why I do this job. My inclination is to give background and responses for these, but I decided to just let the kids’ letters speak for themselves. So in no particular order, here is what they wrote me in June 2013:

Thank you for being an awesome math teacher! Math is one of my worst subjects, but you made this year really fun! I understood everything, even though it might’ve taken a while to get it. I really think I’ve grown not only as a mathematician, but as a person as well. Thanks again for making this year easy!

Let’s just say that this class was the only reason why I didn’t call my mom to get an early dismissal during lunch. You’re the best teacher I’ve ever had! Hope you enjoy your summer!

You have been an overall amazing algebra teacher this year. I’m really glad I got the honor to be in your class this year. You make algebra fun, and very easy, but I have to say you need to work on your hand writing… Overall, I loved your class and I’ll remember you and everything you taught and told me this year. You better be at my graduation in 2017 to listen to my valedictorian speech! You’re awesome Mr. Burrill. P.S. You better be at my high school graduation, I’ll be sure to include you and give you a shoutout.

You are an awesome teacher and you helped me when I was at my lowest. You helped me get over certain things and helped me become a great student. You are an awesome teacher and I hope you help more kids just like how you helped me.

At first you kind of scared me, you looked mean haha. You kind of are but you’re also nice. J Well thank you again for everything.

Last year I was totally lost in my pre-algebra class. I didn’t understand ANYTHING. But when I got put in your class, something in my mind clicked, and I understood everything that was taught. I feel like I aced the math CST, and that I have the ability to ace any other algebra test. Thank you for making learning fun!

You are a great guy. You are my favorite teacher ever. I hope you miss us. Even though your class next year won’t be as good, thinking of us will make it better.

I always looked forward to coming to your class. I’m going to miss you. I’ll try to visit you. I liked it when you said we were “wicked smart.” You were my favorite teacher (Don’t tell my other teachers. Shh!) Stay cool Mr. Burrill.

Overall you’re a pretty legit teacher. You made math really fun and easier to understand. I liked our intervention days. I learned some life lessons from those. I like your red shirt. Thank you for all your hard work on this class. P.S. I love how your class is always so cold!

One of my favorite things about this class is how you would tell us all these fun things about your life. Because if you asked me about other teachers I would say they were nice or okay. But you I could go on and on about all the funny things you told us.

I think out of all the teachers ive ever known, you taught me the most. I really enjoyed this class. It would be the class i’d look forward to. You really made every day fun. I really liked how you helped everyone with their problems. I hope my younger brother has you for algebra. He’d really like this class. Your one teacher ill remember my whole life.

This year, in your class i’ve learned many helpful and useful skills. You have taught us many life lessons that will help motivate ourselves to do the best we can. This class wasn’t just about algebra or grades, it was also about friendship, success, and adventure. I think you taught us in the best way possible by having fun during the lessons and using easy examples. You had a great attitude and always wanted your students to succeed, and never wanted anyone to fail or feel bad about themselves. The most valuable thing I have learned all year was to have fun while doing your best.

Down to my final respects, I know I haven’t been talking in your class that much, and that’s because I don’t feel like it. I don’t know how but you managed to respect that and not call on me. I will very much remember that. Don’t lose your awesomeness. Thanks for this year.

I didn’t expect to have so many life lessons. You really did help me with a lot of problems I’ve had this year. I don’t think I’ve ever had a teacher who cares about his students as much as you do. Thank you for all the support and help you have given me this year.

You’re the best teacher I’ve ever had. I wish there were more teachers like you. You didn’t only teach us math but you also taught us some life lessons. You make math simple. I love how you care about all your students. I won’t forget to visit you. I enjoyed all the test and quizzes you gave us and when we had no homework, I was sad. Thanks for everything you have taught us. Love you and hope you have the best summer.

I’m very thankful to have you as a teacher. You were one of the people that was there for me when no one else was. You helped me get through this school year. I’m very thankful for that... Anyways I’m going to miss you and a couple others next year, but I think I’m going to be more independent every year. From having close to no one to rely on to having a couple, then back to none is going to kind of hard to figure stuff out all by myself. But thanks for everything. I learned that it’s never too late to flip everything around. Thanks.

Also, I liked the way you taught us because you didn’t make it hard, or feel hard, and even the hard problems you made funny! I remember that day when I stayed in for lunch to complete a problem, that problem took up my entire paper, and equaled one!!!!

I really enjoyed this class. The jokes we all laughed about, the stories you told us about yourself. That brought us closer to each other- a connection. Its like we’re a family now- know a little about each one of us. We all had our good and bad moments in this class. There were points where I hated this class- but more of those where I couldn’t wait to get into this class and learn something new. I really liked the way you taught us. Some math teachers don’t really elaborate on a part, but you made sure we all understood. I’m really going to miss this class and my algebra teacher. Thank you for everything!

No one will ever teach like you do. You have your own style. For the kid’s sake, I hope you keep teaching the way you do now until you retire.

I know math next year is going to be easy because I learned from the best teacher.

I just wanna thank you for preparing us for the rest of our lives.

Hey! I would like to thank you for being a amazing teacher. When I first met you, I thought that you would be a mean teacher. But actually you’re very nice. You’re great at explaining problems. The only thing is your handrwriting lol, but sometimes I can read it.

It was so fun this year. It was just all chill. I wish all teachers are just chill just like you.

I love having you as one of my teachers. You’re outgoing, crazy, funny, and charismatic.

There are many things I liked about this class. The first thing is Fun Fridays. I like Fun Fridays because you can get a break from all of the work. Second thing is raffles. I liked the raffles because you can get cool stuff. The fourth thing is the field trips. I liked the field trips because you can learn more about collages and other places. The fifth thing is TRF. TRF helps me understand more how to do the problems. That’s all of the things I liked about your class.

We love you Mr. Burrill! You are my support system and make me feel like I have hope and someone who actually cares. Thank you so much.

I will miss everything about Einstein next year but I will miss your class the most. I will miss your jokes, stories, and most of all your methods of teaching us. I know as the time passes I’ll be another name you can’t remember, but right now, right in this moment I’m glad I can call you my teacher, role-model, and friend. Thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you, dankie, gracias, and merci, for a great year. 10-star notes probably saved my life. I know it saved a lot of blood.

1 comment:

Matt Jurach said...

Good job, man. In all senses of the phrase.