This article first appeared in the summer 2017 Harker Magazine.
Patricia Burrows teaches middle school English, but her enthusiasm for her job is evident by all the other things she loves to do at Harker: she is the grade 7 advisory dean, facilitates the Discovery X mentor program, oversees the writing mentor program, and is on the Diversity and Challenge Success committees. It was clear as she spoke with Harker Magazine that her passions are her students and her family; she and her husband, Kit, have a daughter at Harker, and her parents and brother are in Ontario, Canada, where Burrows grew up.
Q: What is the one thing in the world you would fix if you could wave a magic wand?
I would give everyone empathy.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” My colleague Ann Smitherman shared this quote (generally attributed to Theodore Roosevelt) when I needed to hear it, and it is something that I carry with me every day. When we spend so much time wishing we were like someone else, we steal the opportunity to celebrate our own individual achievements and impacts.
Q: What is your best strength?
Helping others. Anything I first deem as a weakness eventually helps me understand and develop my strength.
Q: What are you doing when you feel most alive?
I’m in a classroom with my students, laughing, sharing and learning.
Q: What do you most apologize for?
Putting my foot in my mouth. I love to joke with people, and occasionally the joke is funnier in my head than in reality.
Q: What is your most treasured object and why?
A ceramic heart that my husband used to propose to me. Yes, I’m cheesy.
Q: What are you obsessed with?
“Anne of Green Gables.” I could watch the television series featuring Megan Follows over and over again.