We talked with San Diego middle school teacher Nancy Burks about how the connections she made at last year’s Summit led to a teacher candidate getting a job at her school!


Better Together: How long have you been teaching?

Nancy Burks: I’ve been at Montgomery Middle School for 15 years, and teaching for 20.


BT: Who were you able to connect with at last year’s Summit?

NB: Last year, our school had an observer named Matthew from Point Loma Nazarene University. Great guy, knew his stuff, always asked questions. I said, he’s a keeper. Then he was done, and the year ended. Then I met Nicole at the Summit last July. She’s in charge of the teacher candidates at Point Loma. I introduced myself and told her I would really like Matthew to do his student teaching with me. So she said, let’s see if we can work that out. And it just so happens when we got back to school we were looking for someone, and I said we’ve got to get Matthew. So meeting Nicole at the Summit got Matthew a job at our school!


BT: What did you bring back to your classroom?

NB: The first time I ever used a Google doc was at the Summit last year. Our kids are all about the Google classroom and the Google docs. But that was the first time for me, and I wouldn’t have done that if it weren’t for the Summit. Now I’m in a Google classroom. That was huge, getting this new technology.


BT: Why do you think it’s important for teachers to be part of a community of teachers outside of their school?

NB: Teachers have a hard job, and it’s nice to meet people from other districts and hear other perspectives. At last year’s Summit, I met people from everywhere that I wouldn’t have met at a district training. We talked about reading, and technology, and how to get kids comfortable with standards. At some points during the event we connected with teachers across the state. That was a valuable connection to make. After all, we are one state, together.


BT: Are you attending the Summit again this year?

NB: Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I know that I’m going to see people I haven’t seen in a while, meet new people, and there might be a new kind of technology or a new resource I can use in the classroom. I think it’s valuable for everybody. I’m trying to get Matthew to go this year too!