Faculty & Staff (A-Z)

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Julia Burdette

Faculty Information
Location(s) Middle School
Title(s) Middle School Spanish Grades 5-8
Contact Information
School Email
School Phone
(828) 274-0758   x352
Degree(s) B.S., Appalachian State University
Other Information

Julia Burdette is a Spanish teacher in the Middle School and has been working at Carolina Day School since 2006. Julia has studied in Spain and traveled in Mexico and Costa Rica as well.

Get to know Julia Burdette:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? At Carolina Day School teachers are empowered to structure lessons and units to fully engage and challenge our students. We, of course, have curricular objectives to meet during the year, but are not so focused on a test or end result that we just drag students through the material. I believe students feel that their contributions are valued and validated and are excited to ask questions and seek solutions.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I enjoy the collegiate environment of our school. I feel that each faculty member is working to help students reach their best and be prepared for whatever path they choose after upper school. I like working with students for multiple years and being able to see the impressive progress they make. We are a village helping to develop each individual.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? In regards to the middle school experience, I think that our advisory program is a great way that students are encouraged to express themselves, listen to other ideas, and have an opportunity to “try on” different viewpoints. Part of this is because students from each grade are together and can share a broader range of experiences and ideas. I also see students taking risks through collaborative projects that challenge them to work together, figure out how to complete the assignment/problem, and present themselves in a variety of ways. In addition, our e-portfolios allow students to reflect on their development, set goals for further growth, show examples of their progress, and share this information with peers, teachers, and parents.”
How would you describe your classroom? “We often talk about the Georgia O’Keeffe painting Ladder to the Moon that is in my classroom. Each student is somewhere on the ladder, and each one is moving up the ladder. My goal as an educator is to help each student grow and climb higher on his/her ladder of success.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin.
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less?  “A gardener - I plant seeds and watch them grow, some grow faster than others, but eventually they all make progress.”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “One of the sixth grade projects is to create a story based in our imaginary classroom community. They incorporate places and why we go there, how to ask and give directions, vocabulary and verbs we are studying, and descriptions of people and places to showcase what they can do in Spanish. On seventh grade projects allows students work in groups to design an apartment in Spain to meet the needs of a specific client. They then use their design to debate against another group and try to show how their piso is best for the client. An eighth grade project gives students the opportunity to research a country and write a travel blog telling what they did for a 3-5 day trip. Then the students use this information to stage a conversation with a friend discussing both trips. This incorporates many skills, vocabulary, and grammar learned during middle school Spanish classes.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? I love to dance. I have been an obsessive salsa and contra dancer at various points of my life. I also knit, sew, and make jewelry. I’m addicted to NCIS and Castle and love many crime shows. And I play with my dog, Bailey, as much as possible.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? When it stops being fun, I’ll stop doing it, but teaching has become more engaging each year and I enjoy what I am doing.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “I went through a variety of public schools that had a standard, instructor-led teaching approach. After taking notes in class, reading and taking more notes, and brief conversations about the material, we were quizzed or tested to see how much we “knew”. The variety of student-centered, inquiry based, collaborative projects we incorporate in the middle school engage students on a deeper level. Here the process is just as important as the end result.”
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