This is a guest post from Tara Burns in support for Franklin Burns for QuickSchools Teacher of the Year award. QuickSchools.com is a fully-online school management system.
Saint Tower Academy was founded when the local school district Mr. Burns was teaching at had changed their instructional models for the self-contained students. Mr. Burns is a strong advocate for his students’ education and his expertise as the students’ teacher was being disregarded and students’ potentials were not being met. In addition to that, parents of Mr. Burns’ students’ were asking him to challenge their child more in the classroom. Being limited in what he could do in the self-contained classroom, Mr. Burns decided it was finally time to begin the school he was already working towards. The goal of the school is to give an education to students that need additional modification or accommodations to be successful in the classroom.
Mr. Burns has always been a very dedicated and passionate teacher even before he started teaching in the classroom. When I first met Mr. Burns, he was a coaching student in basketball as well as being a mentor to his neighbors’ son and daughters, always giving them the chance to work towards their goals and guiding them in the most positive way he knew. Mr. Burns has always had a lifetime goal to educate students and provide them with as much support and dedication he received as a special education student himself. Once he completed his degree at the University of Houston-Downtown, he began his plan of opening his own school. Since beginning teaching in 2003, he has taught a variety of students with disabilities and concerns. The one trait that made Mr. Burns stand out from other teachers I have seen, was his focus on what the students were able to do, their strengths, and build their education from there. When Mr. Burns finished his master’s degree in Special Education, he was very excited to open his own private school and have the opportunity to truly let his passion and dedication shine. He teaches students beginning at their strengths and learning modalities focusing on the positive and working out the negatives. I have seen students grow tremendously in not only their learning but in their behavior as well and taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors. He truly deserves to be teacher of the year!