Warning: It’s about to get serious in the blog.
I doubt you could find an MVGS faculty member who, when pressed, wouldn’t cite the love of students and teaching as the inspiration for their careers. We may not like to reveal our softer sides, but we do have them. (Don’t tell the kids! We need to maintain our cool.) Of all of us, though, Mr. Burton is probably the most passionate about the learning in his classroom and doing the best possible job for his students. He doesn’t phone it in; every class gets the same level of professionalism and intensity, every day.
Yesterday, Mr. Burton received the Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award for Region IV from the Virginia Association of the Gifted. Even if you know Mr. Burton, you probably don’t know that he received this award. It’s totally antithetical to who he is to brag about his own accomplishments. Undoubtedly, the existence of this blog post will make him deeply uncomfortable. Luckily, I’m okay with that. Sharing with all of you what a great teacher Allen Burton is is more important than gratifying his self-deprecation.
I’m sure if you ask your children or students, they’ll be happy to tell you about their experiences in his classroom. The words “difficult” and “hard” are likely to come up, but so will the words “knowledgeable” and “supportive.” Mr. Burton arrives at school, every day, at around 6:30 am. He’s here to plan, give students tutoring when they need it, and prepare elaborate lab setups. I can tell you, just from my experience as his colleague, that he is tireless in locating new examples, trying out new techniques, and staying current with the latest scientific research. We are all in awe of his work ethic, and his dedication to his craft.
Please feel free to send Mr. Burton a note of congratulations (firstname.lastname@example.org), and join us all in being grateful that he’s chosen to work with the students and faculty of MVGS.