Top Teachers: Erin Bourne
Byrd M.S., eighth grade
Erin Bourne is willing to concede that the future employment opportunities of her current algebra students are unlikely to depend upon their abilities to solve quadratic equations on the spot.
But, they may depend upon their abilities to solve problems.
Bourne, who has taught eighth-graders for 11 years at Byrd, does her best to make algebra fun for her students while impressing upon them the importance of understanding the process they use.
“They might not use this specific topic, but what I’m teaching is problem-solving skills and how to use them,” Bourne said.
It’s working; Bourne is a student favorite who earns high marks for her classroom demeanor and willingness to help students who need assistance.
“Every child that has or has had her as a math teacher loves her,” one nominator wrote of Bourne. “She is patient and inspiring. Her knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is above and beyond. She takes algebra and applies it to real life, and therefore the kids seem to appreciate why algebra is essential for life. She is well respected and highly regarded by all of the students in her class.”
Math comes naturally to Bourne, who said she has always loved it but wasn’t sure what she’d end up doing with it. A career fair in college helped sway her toward teaching.
Students appreciate her personality – a mix of excitement and occasional silliness.
“I have been told before by my kids that I’m very funny – they compare me to Jim Carey in my facial expressions,” Bourne said with a laugh. “I’m very enthusiastic – I almost feel like I’m performing when I’m teaching.”
Bourne regularly holds tutoring sessions before school begins to offer extra support for any students who need it. She can relate to those who do.
“The kids would probably be shocked to know that I took algebra twice,” she said. “I got a C the first time in private school, then took it again in ninth grade.”
The fit at Byrd has been a comfortable one for Bourne, who describes the faculty as a supportive family.
“Everyone is supportive, willing to help,” she said. “Every year there’s a new initiative that the county wants us to take on, and those faculty members who have been trained in it are anxious to help others.”
As part of its 30th anniversary year and partnership with the Children's Museum of Richmond, Commonwealth Parenting will present a six-part RVA Parents Forum Series to address some of the toughest issues confronting parents.
Parenting experts and family educators will tackle topics ranging from bullying to alcohol, sex to divorce, and technology and stress. Parents will learn how to identify potential problems.
"We're excited about bringing this much-needed forum series to parents in central Virginia. Through our valuable partnership with Commonwealth Parenting, we can have a deeper impact in the community through parent and caregiver education," said Karen Coltrane, president and CEO of the Children's Museum of Richmond. > Read more.
Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.
YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.
Check out these three B’s in Henrico this weekend: books, bluegrass and “Born Yesterday.” Other activities to participate in – and feel good about – are the 15th annual James River Regional Cleanup and the 5th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Inspirational football movie tries too hard for its own good
When the Game Stands Tall is based on a true story – an unbelievable true story that takes the word “inspiring” about as far as it can go.
It’s a film about Bob Ladouceur, coach of the De La Salle High Spartans, a California high school football team with 12 consecutive undefeated seasons (a staggering 151 games won in a row).
Along the way, Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) faced the kind of hardship most football coaches (thankfully) can only imagine – suffering a near-fatal heart attack, the death of a star player, and rebuilding the team after that 151-game streak came to a humiliating end. > Read more.
Enjoy political comedy at its finest with The Capitol Steps at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Methodist and Baptist churches unite for the fourth annual Mission Footprint 5K, taking place at Trinity UMC. Or in honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, treat them to A Grand Family Affair or maybe a movie – the 1978 film “Superman” is at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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