Welcome to the second Community Spotlight!
For this installment, we met with our wonderfully talented new fourth grade head teacher, Thea Burstin. Although new to the Co-op, Thea is certainly not new to teaching, having previously taught grades four through eight in Philadelphia, New York, and Newark.

Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 10.21.37 AMFirst, the basics. Tell us your name and where you are from, then and now.
My name is Thea Burstin. I grew up in Swarthmore, PA outside of Philadelphia. I went to college at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and spend a semester abroad in Athens, Greece. After college, I lived and taught in Philadelphia. My husband and I moved to New York City in 2010 and then to Bloomfield in 2015.

How long have you been part of and what are your connections with the Co-op community?
This is my first year at the Coop. I’m having a wonderful time teaching 4th grade! I had heard about the Co-op from a friend who is an alum, and I was so excited to find a position at such a wonderful place.

What is your favorite Co-op tradition?
I love the compliments and concerns meetings that take place at the end of the school days. It is truly incredible to hear the students engage in such rich reflection and discussion. They are thoughtful, caring, and aware. It is a beautiful moment at the end of each busy day.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us – maybe even your kids.
I played the violin in the school orchestra from 3rd-12th grade and still pick it up to play now and again. After Hurricane Sandy I had a week at home, and I took the opportunity to teach myself to play a little banjo, too!

Pasta or Soup?
Pasta

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee

Name a teacher and how s/he changed your life?
My English teacher in 9th and 10th grade was wonderful. He really took us seriously and pushed us to engage with literature in a new way. I always loved reading, but analyzing and writing about texts in Mr. Kennedy’s classes opened my eyes to new layers to explore and inspired me to study English in college.

Thank you Thea.