Steve Burgess, high school science teacher
Q: What do you teach?
A: I teach biology, animal behavior, and physics.
Q: How many years have you been teaching?
A: 25 years.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
A: I love children–I love students. I love teaching students, watching them learn and grow.
Q: Where did you go to college? What was your major?
A: I went to Southern Illinois University. My major was biological science with a minor in chemistry.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about your job?
A: The hardest thing about the job is keeping students motivated; keeping them interested in the topic and making sure that they understand all the concepts.
Q: What’s your long-term goal for your students?
A: I want them to prosper, go and do whatever they want to do, go to college… be successful citizens, and have great families.
Q: What was it like being a teacher in China?
A: It was very humbling. You don’t know what you miss until you’re away from our country. There’s so many things we take for granted here. Over there, they are very strict with their citizens, but the people are nice, the culture is great. My wife is Chinese, so I kind of was aware of the culture before I went there.
Q: What’s the biggest difference between the students in China and the students here in America.
A: They’re very competitive. They value education more than, I think, the students in America. Because there are so many people over there, they’re in competition to go to Universities and schools. So, the competition for work and things like that puts more pressure on them than parents and society.