Larry Burge has been named Singer High School Teacher of the Year for the 2019-20 school term.
“Embrace the struggle, because that is how you grow.” Larry Burge, Singer High School teacher, encourages his math students to allow for confusion as they approach a new math concept.
“It is in the confusion and the struggle to understand a new concept that students actually learn,” he explained. “I remind them that if they are not confused, they are not learning anything new.”
Burge teaches math to eighth through twelfth grade students.
“Math is one of the most difficult and daunting subjects for students,” he said. “If they approach the class with the attitude that they have to know how it all works from the start, they will have a harder time succeeding.”
Burge continually reminds his students of the famous Mark Twain quote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” He also uses this idea as his inspiration for teaching.
“Teaching is more than imparting math facts and knowledge, however important that may be,” he explained. “Teaching is also helping students grow into the person they are meant to be, and part of that process is guiding them as they discover their purpose in life.”
Burge is privileged to see students grow over the five years he teaches them from their eighth grade year through graduation. He enjoys observing their development over that time as they gain confidence and walk out of his classroom as accomplished graduates ready to take on the world.
He also believes that he has found his purpose in life through teaching, having come to the profession after years of working in other fields.
“I think that in order for a human being to be truly happy that they need a sense of purpose, and teaching gives me my sense of purpose and truly makes me happy,” he said.
In addition to his teaching duties, he is the sponsor for the SHS Senior Class. He has also served as the school’s BETA sponsor, the PBIS Coordinator, and as a Teacher Leader.
He is a member of the Beauregard Federation of Teachers, serving on the leadership board for five years. He is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.