Paul Burbank - 2019 Shasta County Middle School Teacher of the Year
"Paul Burbank's primary teaching assignment is daily 6th grade math and language arts classes. His classroom is one I look forward to visiting every day. Not only is the classroom alive with the love of learning, but it tells the story of "life as a 6th grader": Van Gogh replicas hang from the ceiling, plant experiments sit in a corner, student work covers the walls and a class Constitution, which emphasizes respect and kindness for all, is at the forefront. Students sit in groups of four chattering excitedly a they work on the day's math lesson using real world problems.
Paul's classroom reflects his thoughtful consideration of his students and is an environment of energy and excitement. He draws students into lessons using shared experiences; he sets the stage for class discussions by posing provocative and life reflecting questions. His students are deep thinkers and unafraid orators. Every day brings a new opportunity for discussion and learning. Every event in class is another moment in life where his students can learn and grow. He recognizes promise in each of his students, those who can and will change the world for the better: inventors, creators and leaders, he sees the potential in each of them.
Outside of the classroom, Paul has initiated and facilitated a Robotics Club and Garden Project, both involve not just students, but community members and businesses.
Being a lead in curriculum,technology and classroom management would be impressive enough, but where his real strength lies is in his ability to develop real and lasting relationships with his students. The nominee gets to know each of his students on a personal and individual basis, understanding that his creating and developing a genuine and trusting relationship with his students will influence them in a most positive way and have a perennial and decisive influence on their lives.
Solid instructional delivery and classroom management make a good teacher, but the measure of greatness in a teacher is, the decisive and positive influence on students, and an influence that can, does, and has, changed lives; this greatness is what I see in Paul Burbank any day, every day."
~ Mindy DeSantis, Principal/Superintendent, Millville Elementary School