Profile: Burnette Hamil
Burnette Hamil's passion had a chance to shine during 22 years of teaching Scott County middle school students about science. She loved showing seventh- and eighth-graders the scientific wonders around them.
Even now as a faculty member at Mississippi State, she loves taking a few items from a typical kitchen pantry and making a lava lamp, an example of how science can be fun and allow students to explore the natural world.
One of the things she teaches her MSU students in the College of Education is "You have to balance what you teach with empathy." For instance, she asks, "What if a child's puppy gets run over by the bus on the way to school?"
As a former middle school teacher, Hamil juggled science lessons with care, taking into consideration events that didn't directly relate to her students' academic studies. She believes it's important for students to know they matter to her.
An associate professor in Mississippi State's department of curriculum, instruction and special education, Hamil now provides future high school and middle school teachers skills to help them thrive in their own classrooms one day.
"You don't have doctors, lawyers, engineers, or anything else without teachers," she said.
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