Please help us welcome Sandra Burgess to our Middle School Humanities faculty!
Ms. Burgess brings a wealth of experience teaching composition, literature, and history courses at colleges and universities including Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), Washington University in St. Louis, Westminster College, Stephens College, Lewis and Clark Community College, and St. Louis Community College.
She holds a Master’s degree in history from the University of Missouri, a Master’s in English and the Teaching of Writing from SIUE, and a B.A. in English and Classical Studies from SIUE.
What do you want your students to take away from having known you?
I want them to know that you should never stop learning, that learning about the people and the world around you makes you a more aware and knowledgeable citizen. I also want them to see me as someone who is there ready and willing to not only teach them, but also to learn from them.
How do you help students learn to learn?
I try to take a multi-disciplinary and diverse approach to teaching. I understand and recognize that not all of us learn in the same way or at the same pace. I try to build into my classes varied ways of learning. I also seek to encourage students to become critical thinkers, readers, and writers, knowing that these skills are necessary for success in their later academic pursuits. Therefore, I work to make this happen in my classroom, seeking to try a number of ways to impart the materials to them. I want them to immerse themselves in materials, learning about the history, the social connections, and the influence works of literature have on people.
What professional development activities have you participated in recently?
I am very interested in the connections between technology and learning. Therefore, the past three years, I have participated in being certified in Blackboard Technologies and Quality Matters. Blackboard Technologies provides a virtual learning environment, not just for online classes, but also for face-to-face classes. Quality Matters is a system designed to help educators facilitate online education to all types of learners, at all stages in the pursuit of education. I see these technologies, and many others, as ways to increase access to education, allowing more people to pursue education in many forms, and thereby, improving society.
What has your path been to Morgan Park Academy?
In 1999, after graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, I began teaching rhetoric, composition, and literature at the collegiate level. After taking a short study abroad trip to Greece and Turkey, I decided to further my education and in 2001 began a graduate study program in ancient history at the University of Missouri. During my time at MU, I worked as a mentor/tutor for MU student-athletes, a graduate teaching assistant in the history department, an adjunct instructor at Stephens College, and a visiting lecturer at Westminster College. I moved back to Illinois and began teaching at Lewis and Clark Community College and St. Louis Community College. I have been published in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review and in Hermes, an ancient history international journal.
What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I love to read, write, watch television, and see films. In my spare time (when I have any!), I attend movie festivals and write movie reviews. I love traveling, from short, two-day trips to longer trips around the world. I have a list of countries and U.S. states that I want to visit, and every chance I get, I mark one off my list. I also love to continue learning, and am always looking for ways to increase my knowledge and to broaden my view of the world.