June Teacher of the Month: Cynthia Burnett

Our teacher of the month calls her selection “a great honor and a huge surprise.” She says no one can imagine how she feels.

Beverly Gulley, Saint Xavier University Dean of Education: “On behalf of Saint Xavier University, I am happy to present you with this check for one thousand dollars.”

A one thousand dollar check from Saint Xavier University and marking the occasion a framed certificate from WGN TV — not a bad way to end the school year and begin the summer break!

Cynthia Burnett, teacher of the month: “It’s fantastic. It is something I didn’t even dream about in my career. Teaching is rewarding in and of itself, but to be honored like this in this way is really fantastic.”

Cynthia Burnett is a second grade teacher at Cardinal Joseph Bernadin School in suburban Orland Hills. And these are her students belting out the class song:

“Oh, give me a school where the teachers are cool and the boys and girls study all day. Where never is heard a discouraging word and we all like it that way.”

Mrs. Burnett has been teaching for thirty plus years and she learned early on that no two children are alike.

Mrs. Burnett: “It’s a challenge in some ways and it is difficult to meet each child’s
Individual needs. You want to give them all the attention that they deserve and want … and you have such influence over them whether it is a word or an action and you never know how it is going to affect their life in a school situation or home.

Seven year old Gabi Vittori is pint-sized proof that Mrs. Burnett is an effective teacher. Gabi has been weighing the evidence for several weeks.

Gabi Vittori, nominating student: “She is understanding … and all that other stuff.  She is generous and kind.”

Reading from a copy of her on line endorsement of Mrs. Burnett points out further why in her young mind she thinks Mrs. Burnett deserves to be teacher of the month.

Gabi Vittori: “I think Mrs. Burnett is a good teacher because if we don’t get to finish a test she doesn’t put the score on yet and lets us finish.”

Mrs. Burnett: “That is the way I operate. I know there are different times that children can work quickly and know what they are answering is correct. But sometimes they need a little more thinking time and I want to give them every opportunity to be successful.”

Gabi Vittori: “If we get a wrong answer she gives us another chance.”

Mrs. Burnett: “I do that because I don’t want them to quit. Patience and persistence and you will be successful.”

Gabi learned quickly the lesson of patience and persistence. She says she tried getting her teacher nominated back in March. But she never gave up. Teacher of the Month is taking a summer break. See you in September.

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