Dana Burress: A story of inspired confidence

In her first year of teaching 10 years ago, Dana Burress, a teacher at Veteran’s High School in Houston County, was asked: What is the one subject you don’t want to teach? Her reply was simple. “Economics.”

The next year she was assigned an economics class, even though she felt inadequately prepared to teach the subject.

“My economics background was very week. I cried when they told me I had to teach it. There is a lot of pressure on you when you are unprepared.”

She requested training and was sent to a Georgia Council workshop called “Fundamentals of Economics.” Just one workshop made a difference. “After my first workshop I went back and used some of the lessons they gave me in my classes. I could see my students understanding it. When you see them get it, it helps your confidence.”

Dana has continued to take Georgia Council workshops and finds she learns something new each time. “I always know I’ll come back with new ideas and lesson plans no matter how many workshops I attend. I’m more confident, and my students have had more success and confidence in learning economics. The Council gives you different ways to explain the concepts, so if students don’t understand it the first time, you can try a different approach.”

All of this has paid off. In the past two semesters, her students have had a 90 to 100 percent pass rate on the state mandated End-of-Course-Test.