Mrs. Burnett-- English Teacher

April 9, 2009
By HemiLiz SILVER, Helena, Alabama
HemiLiz SILVER, Helena, Alabama
6 articles 4 photos 2 comments

I met Mrs. Burnett my first day as a high school student. She had just moved to Pelham, Alabama from Kentucky and was excited about her first day here as an English teacher. She seemed to talk ninety to nothing and was more charismatic than Miss America herself. A few students, including myself, exchanged glances of concern. I even heard one kid whisper, “Is she high?” As if to reply to his inaudible question she explained, “I enjoy what I do! I am just high on life! ” And this she truly is. She is so happy with the position she has in life. She is passionate about teaching and seems to channel that passion into her students.

I gained so much from taking her class and wish I could take it again and again. She introduced me to Shakespeare and gave me a respect for his work that nobody else could have given me. She evoked my own passion for creative writing and helped me to embrace it. She inspired me to want to be an English teacher one day too. The most important lesson she taught me, though, wasn’t intentional. Just from being in her presence everyday, I gained a new outlook on life. Even on her worst days, Mrs. Burnett puts a smile on her face and makes the best of the situation-- something I could never do before.

She really cares about her students and leaves a lasting impression in their hearts. I remember the week yearbooks came out. I was moping around whenever someone asked to sign mine or asked me to sign theirs. She noticed and asked why. I blushed and explained to her that my family couldn’t afford to buy one. She replied, “Is that the only reason you aren’t getting one?”
I shyly said, “Yes.” She then told me she would find out if any more were left and if there were, she was buying me one. I told her that wasn’t necessary. But she insisted. Even though there weren’t any more books available, it meant so much more to me that she just offered this act of kindness. I had never met someone so genuinely selfless and caring in my life. I admire and appreciate Mrs. Burnett’s benevolence, and not a day goes by that I do not think about how she made me feel so special, by simply trying to buy me a yearbook.

Many individuals at Pelham High School have been touched by Mrs. Burnett’s graces. God gave her the gift of being an extraordinarily unforgettable teacher, and He gave us the gift of her presence. Her voice will resonate in our hearts and her wisdoms will be forever engraved in our minds. I will carry on her legacy as I embark on my own teaching journey in a few years and hope that I can one day be treasured by my students, as Mrs. Burnett is treasured by hers.

Mrs. Burnett teaches English at Pelham High School in Pelham, Alabama.

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This article has 2 comments.

momto2 said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 7:12 pm
I think that this is such an inspiring story .Nice to know there are still teachers out there that care so much about their students

jennbail said...
on Dec. 13 2009 at 9:16 am
I love you so much! i just thought i would let you know that i have spend about thirty minutes waiting for the computer to load so i can read this, even though i have already read it. as you can tell, im at my grandmothers house. but i love you enough to take ALL THIS TIME out of my day! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

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