Mrs. Laurie Burckhardt

What inspired you to become a teacher?

It was a journey full of twists and turns, but there were several key moments that led me to become a teacher. One was when I served as a literacy volunteer and taught an adult to read. Another was when I volunteered in a women’s shelter and felt the joy of helping their children with their homework. The last was when I was working on a political campaign and realized the best part of my job was training and mentoring the young volunteers. I decided to go back to school to pursue a master’s degree and teaching license so I could spend my professional life helping my students reach their potential.

What makes teaching at Pardes special?

I love the small class sizes, the Kindergarten to eighth grade model, the child-centered educational philosophy, and the family atmosphere. I love the amazing, talented, creative students. I also admire the dedicated, hard-working teachers and staff. It’s a great team! We are supported and provided with technology, materials, training, and professional development so we can continue to grow as teachers.

What is a unique experience, talent, or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?

I have over 20 years of experience working with diverse learners, so I am adept at personalizing and adapting the educational experience for each student. I am constantly learning and pushing myself to improve. My lessons are hands-on, active and experiential. This makes the learning outcomes enjoyable and accessible for every student. Most of all, I love teaching middle school kids. I truly care about their education and well-being.

Describe how students benefit from the academic classes and being part of the Pardes community.

Students benefit from our talented, experienced, dedicated teachers who get to know them and care about them. Students take part in many academic and other experiences, both in and out of the classroom. They are able to read, write, discuss, present, and share their knowledge and ideas with others. Every student can participate in sports, art, music, theater, and other special programs. It’s awesome!

What sets Pardes Jewish Day School students apart from other students?

Because we are a small, kindergarten through eighth grade school, our students care about each other and feel like part of a family. They have leadership opportunities and many other ways to develop their talents and interests. Pardes students feel successful in many areas. They are curious, dedicated mensches.

When you aren’t teaching at Pardes, where can we find you?

I enjoy spending time with my family (my son is a student at Pardes). I also love hiking, reading, traveling, going to the movies, learning new things, and planning great lessons for my students!