Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Are you not entertained?!"

Theatre class has been blowing me away with talent and more talent. I created this assignment on a whim and wasn't sure what I would get back. I have to be honest, I wish I could just tape these students all the time, so amazing.

Students were asked to pick one of five emotionally charged images that were all black and white. They were to then create a monologue based on a memory that person might have had. There were finny ones, short ones, long ones, crying ones, scared ones, but they were all great ones. I let students who wanted to, recreate their own black and white charged image.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Monologues and Mannequins

We are wrapping up so many projects and lessons this week. Monologue Mania in Theatre has been a blast. Students made their own monologues after selecting an emotional face image. I am taking the pictures of students who want to remake their chosen image this week! When I have them all ready, I will share. Until then,  I do have a few pictures from the first day of monologues.

Of course, one of my English 11 classes did not want to be left out of all this fun filming today. They were rewarded after a lot of hard work with the requested 'mannequin challenge' take a look into our crazy classroom.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Late, yet Great!

This week is my first week at Norwell High School.

I resigned from teaching at Insight School of Indiana and walked back into a classroom. I will not go into any details of why I left ISIN, but rather talk about how AMAZING the staff and students have been at Norwell High School. I am so excited to be teaching face to face with students again, it really is my happy place.

I hope the students enjoyed the "getting to know Mrs. Burman" day and are using the "Burman App" often. I am currently teaching five different classes, and that makes my day go fast! Here is what we will be working on as the semester comes to an end.

Check back for pictures as we wrap up projects, take the mannequin challenge and smile for portraits.

English 11 - We are starting a short story series focusing on American Classics and Irony! We are also doing some SAT Vocabulary review- quiz on Friday.

Theatre - These students are writing their own monologues based on character images, they made their own rubric and will be performing these next week!

Technical Theatre - The Model Set Project is due on December 6th, we reviewed the rubric and added a little write up explained the set. I can't wait to see the finished projects.

Literature and Film - Character Archetypes are the main idea until break. We will be focusing on the types of archetypes and watching The Giver to apply our new information.

English 12 - The seniors will be spending a lot of time talking about money. We are going to read "The Rocking Horse Winner" and explore how money changes us. We will also do a budgeting assignment!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If you don't have anything nice to say...

.... say nothing at all.

There has been some serious frustrations lately. I think this comes from continusly comparing this year/position to my past teaching years. I shouldn't do that because this is so different. I feel like a new teacher again. I hate that, I spent so many years growing as an educator. I had so many people pouring into me as a growing teacher in my previous 5 years, now I feel like a performing monkey. Those monkeys that are trained to steal money from pockets, or slam little symbols together. Have a mental picture now? Good.

Let me talk about some positives.

Students are hilarious. I love getting to see them be a little more out of the students now that we are in week 4. I enjoy my live classes and how the kids use emoji-cons for all types of things. I am teaching stories I like (except Don Quixote... dumb) and that must be getting the kids excited.

I love that when my kids were sick (we have had RSV, Ear Infection, some Virus not named, and Strep Throat) in the last three weeks, I was able to be at home with them and still WORK. I did use recordings once, but sat there while kids watched and asked questions.

The mute button. Every 'brick and mortar' teacher should be envious of this live class tool.

I know things will get better, and this is such a learning curve in which I wasn't prepared. I thought I would have more 'down time' but I find myself constantly accessible. I have missed lunch three times... crazy I know.

I can't wait for PD next week. Just being around other teachers will be such a breath of fresh air. Teachers, we just get each other. Plus, we can compare monkey symbols.

Friday, August 26, 2016



I hate change. I am a creature of habit and I love STRUCTURE. This job has tested my patience with how much change has come down the pipes. Schedules, leaders, courses, expectations. My head is spinning.

You know what hasn't changed? My love of students. I got into my first live class and it all came running back to me. I made a hashtag for my students to use and follow. I posted shoutouts and allowed them to follow me on social media. We are bonding, we are becoming a community.

I love the kids.

I hate change.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Rough Beginning

Just a heads up, this post might sound very dreary. It really isn't, I am very excited to have students next week, but this have been a whirlwind as we prepare to welcome the students.

Our Principal resigned on Wednesday.

Yes, that is right, 5 days until kiddos log in for class.

I am not going to dwell on the facts, rumors, or my opinions. I wish her the best and I am just going to push forward and prepare. While in limbo we have two ladies stepping up to the plate to fill in as our administrators. They have been amazing and doing everything they can to help us all stay upbeat and be prepared.

After about 5 meetings and getting access to my classes, things are falling into place! I am 100% finished with my training, I logged almost 50 hours of training. (K12 and INTASS) It really wasn't fun, but it was a necessary evil.

I now have a head set so I can speak and be heard while leading class or logging in for meetings. I feel so fancy. I am working on my courses and getting my syllabus perfect. I am also working on a "Hello, I am Mrs. Burman" video. It is going to be epic. Don't worry I will share!

I love buying school supplies, but my new supplies are kitchen rugs, hand towels, and a mug. Those are the things I need to feel calm these days. That and my essential oils. I just bought some 'Joy' to keep me super excited.

I would also like to mention a post coming about my work space. We don't have an office space so I have a desk in the dining/kitchen. My husband is currently making me a desk to work for our space and my needs. Things will be coming together for that later next week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Schedules and Phones

Since my last post I have got quite a few deliveries. I received my laptop, an office phone (runs through internet) and a schedule! Things are falling into place for a great year.

I am chugging along through training and I am getting excited about using BlackBoard Connect. This is how we teach live. It is very much like a live white board that we can throw PowerPoint on and take live polls, even have kids chat and raise their hand. I am giddy about the chance to start teaching.

I ran lunch to my teacher husband today and he was teaching English 10H. I was so excited since all the students were my little babies last year! It was great to see them. I walked around as they worked on their thesis assignments and offered help. Sign... I can't wait to get back to teaching.

I meant to share this earlier, I made this video during our three days training in Indianapolis. It was a quick way to build up our new school and use my time wisely. I am working on a "Hello" video and Welcome Calls this week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Drowning in Virtual Trainings

Here we go, my transparent teacher self. I am really struggling with the amount of virtual training expected to be completed in a timely manner. During the three days in Indianapolis we were introduced to so many new [and not so new] ideas.

Being a new teacher at a BRAND new school meant delays in email address, log in information, and a computer. There was nothing anyone could do to fix that and I think the 6 [or so] of us were still soaking up as much as possible. But now that I am on my own and ready to really 'play' with my tools, I feel like I hit a wall.

Still no computer or email, so I am trying to watch as many videos, read through curriculum and organize work aids for later use. I am getting frustrated, for the right reasons. I just want to be prepared for my students.

I am not sure how you learn to use new technology, or ANY device, but I start playing and creating. I have found this makes me a better resource for students since that is the very thing kids do. Have you ever seen a teen read the manual? NO! They play, mess up, go back try again.

I have also been a bit disturbed by the watered down information being pushed at licensed educators. I had a good 20 minute video on Modifications vs. Accommodations. I am married to an educator (we met in college class "History of the English Language - Dr. Johnston") and I had this conversation with him at my most irritated.

Me: "Remember that 9 week course on Special Education in Secondary Classrooms?
Ben: "Yes."
Me: "Yeah, me too."

He realized my frustration and did not pursue any conversation after that. He then reminded me, at some point a licensed educator probably messed that up and we are all paying for it now. Touche.

I bet you all wish you had a fellow educator to talk you off a ledge of frustration? Yeah, he makes me a better person, and teacher. He will be a great principal someday. I am learning about platforms and I can't wait to apply that knowledge. I have about 10 more hours of training. Let the count down begin.

On a positive note: The INTASS training was long, but I enjoyed watching the cartoons since the used the application "Mad Man Me" based off the show Mad Men. Good times. That training revolved around Teacher Evaluation Processes and how we can all work together to be better teachers. Nothing new on my plate there, but a good refresher.

Another positive note: I must be coming from some of the best administrators. I am well versed in much of the teacher side of things. Good job Mr. Steve Baker and Mr. Chad Yencer. I am looking forward to working with Miss Amy Weber and continue my growth as an educator!

Monday, August 8, 2016

I am going virtual.

This post is a big one for this blog. The last 5 years this blog served as a catch all for my experiences as a teacher, a hub for parent and student information, and just place for me share.

I will still be doing all of these things, but virtually. Before I get a 'duh Mrs. Burman, it is a blog, of course it is virtual' let me explain. I will be teaching from home this year! I will be working for Hoosier Academies teaching at Insight School of Indiana. This school specializes in students who need more guidance and might be a few credits behind. My focus will be juniors and seniors.

I plan to use this blog as a place to document my first year working from home, on a computer, at a charter school. This will be such a big change for me. I spent the last 6 years of my teaching life face to face with students. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I got inspired, and all the while I loved my job. I am hoping this avenue will allow my more time with family and with strengthen my skills as an educator (AND communicator).

I had three full days of training in Indianapolis last week. It was fun to get away and be a professional adult again, since I know getting my professional development will not be as easy as walking down the hall, I tried to soak up those days. I met a ton of great people and a few that live really close to me, in Fort Wayne.

Since Insight School of Indiana (ISIN) is a brand new school, there is still so much unknown. This drives my anxiety since I love to have thins planned. Looks like this new job is already making me grow and learn. I am doing a lot of online training on my own. We use K12 curriculum and that is the place where we conduct class, they use Blackboard Connect for that, then I am also training on INTASS, which is an evaluator certification so we are all on the same page with evaluations.

I haven't seen the curriculum yet, but I have taught both of these courses before, so I am not worried. I am getting excited to receive my new computer so I can start getting things organized. I want to have all my programs ready and a pretty desktop image of course (I am still a creative teacher... just on a computer!)

It has been hard not buying supplies at the stores, I want all the pens and journals! But I am updating my 'office' to help me stay focused and driven. My husband is building my desk, I am so lucky. I will be sure to post pictures when everything is set up. I saw another blogging teacher use the term "Stay At Home Teacher" and I just love it.

I am excited about the new adventure ahead of me, follow along for more details and even lesson examples. For a view into my past as a 'brick and mortar' educator look through my old posts. I loved my time at Bluffton High School and Southern Wells Jr. - Sr. High School. I can't wait to teach students all over the state of Indiana.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Acting and Enjoying

In the coming weeks we will be reading Romeo and Juliet, and that takes time! I love seeing the students understand the story and characters, so this time is worth it! We will be reading the first (of five) acts and then watching a few and listening to a couple acts. I want to cover all the aspect of Shakespearean entertainment.

Moving to English 11, The Great Gatsby! I love this book and we are listening to most of it in class. We will be working on an American Dream Project and presenting next week.

I am enjoying these units and I hope the students are as well!

Monday, February 15, 2016


Hey guys! We were famous for a day on the Southern Wells Jr.-Sr. High School Facebook page. Here is what was posted and I just want to say great job on all your work these past few weeks. Keep it up!

Feature Teacher this week....Mrs. Burman is enjoying her first year at Southern Wells Jr.-Sr. High School. She is...
Posted by Southern Wells Jr./Sr. High School on Friday, February 12, 2016
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