So once again my students have reminded me why I keep returning to the classroom each year. This job continues to be draining, so the affirmation from my students is what drives me to keep going. Again this year I had all of my students write me a letter at the end of the school year. Here are excerpts from many of their letters. I tried to include the ones that were most thoughtful, kind and encouraging-- or in some way made me laugh. In the order in which I read them:
You can be witty at times, and at other times quite scary. I hope I can have you next year.
You were the most exciting teacher, because I never knew when you might explode or throw a marker at someone, or stand on a chair and move your arms a lot while you yelled. I think you made coming to this class every morning kind of unique and in a way my 7th grade year. So, thanks for being cool and funny and yeah.
p.s. you made it fun to learn some of the hardest stuff ever.
One last thing I want to thank you for is pushing me to do my best and never give up and for that I am thankful.
Also, I’m sorry, but first period is just the easiest to ditch.
You’ve shown me how to make complex math seem simple. I like how you always got to the point with your lessons, and how you could make a serious math lesson seem funny.
You are the best teacher ever. My favorite part of your class is when you tell stories that most of the time have nothing to do with math. You’ve taught me a lot over this year and hopefully you get to be the advanced 8th grade math teacher. If I had to choose a class to be in for the whole day it would probably be this class. Also, you are way more fun and engaging than any teach I have ever had.
You have been one of the best teachers. Not the best, but still good.
I’ve learned a lot this year though I admit the majority of the time I felt stupid and often wondered why I was in advanced math, but now I know the answer is because you were the one that inspired me to do many things….I just want you to know that many things that I’ve learned within these four walls will live with me forever. Thank you Mr. Burrill. J
I should also mention that you made math easy and fun (or at least bearable).
You have inspired me to chase my dream of going to college and doing my dream job.
I liked how you put so much love in teaching math, and had a fun time doing it.
I look up to you for taking in all of the student teachers. They are lucky to have a teacher like you to teach them about teaching. I liked in the class how you are always chill. You don’t freak out about little things like a lot of teachers. In this class I felt comfortable asking questions. If I get the question wrong I know you will teach me how to fix my mistakes. Thank you for teaching me 7th and 8th grade math.
Hopefully I have you as my 8th grade math teacher because I wouldn’t want to learn from anyone else.
I genuinely enjoyed being taught in your class. It was refreshing to see everyone so enthusiastic to learn math. I thought the class had an excellent learning environment. I hope you will teach the 8+ class next year.
I never really understand what you teach, so I just look online how to do it.
Thank you for this wonderful year of math teaching. You were a very funny teacher. A lot of things you did encouraged me to want to learn more. I think my favorite part of the year in your class was around the winter because when I was cold and tired, third period would always wake me up. I wish I could’ve had you for 7th and 8th grade. So yea… thank you for this fantastic year, and I hope you keep teaching the way you taught us.
The best thing you ever told me was to not be so mean. And I’ve been through a lot so my initial instinct is to have an attitude. But you really taught me to be nice to people. Thank you!
Thank you for being my teacher this year for math. You have taught me a lot in math because last year I was bad at it and now I am good. Sometimes I get frustrated cause I don’t know what to do and I get mad but you still help. You are a great teacher and I’ve had lots of fun learning new thing from you! Thank you!
Everyday I went to your class and it made me realize that I wanted to do better in my life and thanks to you now I am. The first day I came to your class I was shy and scared that I wouldn’t go to high school. But you helped me go through those struggles. I now have to say goodbye to the teacher who made me a better person.
Thank you for being such a good teacher. You were very understanding and helpful during this crazy and difficult year.
Thank you for being the best math teacher in the world. Thank you for all the tutoring and help you have given me. I really appreciate it. Also thank you for making math fun and not boring.
You are the funniest, the smartest, and the most awesome teacher ever. Thank you for making this year so great.
You have really taught me things out of math and in. When people say this is what you’re meant for this is it. I really do appreciate what you did for me, you have had the biggest impact on my life outside of my family. I came into this year knowing nothing and right now I’m feeling confident about next year’s math.
You are inspiring and amazing. I don’t know why people wouldn’t like you for any reason.
Your math techniques are proper even though I wouldn’t know what proper is for math but I like it J.
This year was my favorite year in my entire life that I actually liked math class.
You were better than my 7th grade teacher Mrs. Kosiewik because she would be doing the most with homework and your more chill and really funny your like the next Kevin Hart
You were the best teacher ever. Your funny you tell us jokes and you are always energetic even though I’ve only known you for 1 year I felt like I’ve known you forever because youre that teacher which pushes us to keep going every day and helps us succeed. I can’t wait in 20+ years where I tell my kids all about the best math teacher I ever had. And that’s you. Thank you for teaching us new tricks in math and new words tell us jokes and stories you’ll always be my #1 math teacher.
I really enjoyed this class and I wish I wouldn’t have to leave so soon. You are hands down one of the best math teachers I’ve ever had. You changed my life. Thank you!
You are the best math teacher ever. You have taught me so much stuff that I’m probably going to forget over the next 3 months. You are my second favorite teacher. Your not my first because I don’t’ like math but if you did not do math you be number one.
This year was the best year of my entire life. You are definitely by far my favorite teach of all time. Thank you so much for being my teacher.
Thank you for teaching me over the year. I hope I have you next year even though sometimes you are crazy.
I just wanna thank you for everything you have taught me. One thing that I really enjoyed was your personality. You are a very positive and wise man. When I first came into your class I just knew I was gonna like it. Mr. Burrill, you’re just a great person to be around. I was really blessed to get a teacher like you, Thank you again.
Thank you for helping me with math and for giving me life lessons along with what to remember in life. This class has been my favorite class of the year, it not only helped me with math but it lightened my day and it gave me something to look forward to. This is my best subject because of the environment I am in and I thank you Mr. Burrill for everything.
I really want to thank you Mr. Burrill for teaching me how to be confident in my math skills. Before I came to Einstein, I lacked confidence in my work but now I am helping my younger sister (and my mother) with their failing math skills. You have inspired me to be my best and that is really the best thing a teacher can give their student. Every day when I come home I am eager to share some of the stories from this class to my family and I make sure to use my “Mr. Burrill” voice as I repeat your Mitch Hedburg jokes. I would once again like to apologize for my mother’s humiliating e-mails… she sent them without my consent. Thank you for the adventure.