My name is Michael Burtch, and I am from Ludlow, Massachusetts. I spent almost my whole childhood living in Ludlow, with the exception of the year and a half during middle school that I lived in Rockport, Mass. I still live in Ludlow, for now, as I am preparing to move to Cambridge Massachusetts in September. I completed my undergraduate degree at Westfield State College in 2009 and began teaching in September of that year. I teach Health and Physical Education at Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, Massachusetts. It really is my dream job. I absolutely love the middle school aged population and all of the interesting things that make them unique.

At school I really like to get involved and have a good time. My favorite part of the past two and a half years has been the “spirit weeks.” We do spirit weeks twice a year to get the students involved and excited about school spirit. These weeks typically involve dressing up for the occasion. Some of the themes have been western day, formal day, sports day, dress for your dream career, mismatch day, neon day, and grade color day. I love these weeks because the kids are always excited by my level of participation. On formal day I wore a forest green three piece suit. Over a year later I still had students commenting about that suit. As I mentioned, I teach all four grades in my school, therefore on grade color day I had to wear orange, green, blue, red, and tie dye. That was the only way I could represent all of the grades as well as the special education department. I looked very silly but again, the kids remember that. They know that if they have my class on one of those days it will be “cool” to dress up. It really helps them to get excited about these spirit weeks. The first day of my first spirit week was a day where the students dressed up like the teachers and vice versa. On this day, a student of mine who was always trying to walk into class at the last minute was the first to arrive. He was extremely excited for class because he had dressed like me, black athletic pants and a white polo tucked into them, with sneakers. It is still one of the best days of my short teaching career.

I also find it very important to get involved in outside of school events. I very commonly show up at sporting events or plays my students are in or the science fair. These are the ways I can make ever lasting connections with these kids. It is my favorite part of the job.

In my free time I really enjoy being outside and playing just about anything. I like most sports and physical activities. In addition to being active, I like to play the occasional video game, go out to eat, travel, spend time with my friends and girlfriend, and get together with people to play board games.  My favorite kind of vacation is a cruise, and I have been on four of them and plan on going more in the future. As of late I have been spending a lot of time in Cambridge, where my girlfriend lives, and in Philadelphia, where my best friend lives. I really enjoy city living with all of the convinience that is included with the city. The abundance of cultural landmarks including multiple museums, increases my excitiment for moving into the Boston area.