52 new teachers are welcomed to the Burbank Unified School District

Diana Abasta, president of the Burbank Teachers Assn., remembers her first year as a teacher. Days started early and ended late as she learned how to create her daily lesson plans.

“To be a really good teacher took a long time,” Abasta said to the 52 new teachers who are now part of the Burbank Unified School District.

The incoming teachers were welcomed Thursday morning during a new teacher orientation held at the Castaway restaurant. The orientation featured guest speakers such as Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Assn., and Matt Hill, superintendent of Burbank Unified.

Speakers described the new educators as pieces of a puzzle that make up a larger entity.

At a state level, Heins said they were now part of an organization as large as the population of Iceland with 325,000 members enrolled in the California Teachers Assn.

Hill, who is beginning his third year as superintendent, offered some tips.

“Take care of yourself,” said Hill, adding that he “worked around the clock” his first year to avoid mistakes from happening.

Mistakes will still happen, Hill said, so find the time to “decompress and recharge.” Skilled teachers are the reason why parents continue to enroll their children in the district, he added.

For a handful of the teachers, Aug. 14 will mark their first time stepping into a classroom they can call their own. A mix of nerves and excitement was a common feeling among them.

“This time, I won’t just be a substitute. I’ll have my own class of students,” said Kori Bjorseth, who will be teaching Algebra 1 at John Burroughs High School.

She said she is looking forward to creating her own lesson plans and hopefully inspiring her students to be eager about learning math.

Donovan Glover will be joining Burbank High School as a theater teacher. Glover previously taught theater for Charter High School of the Arts in Van Nuys.

In addition to his passion for theater, Glover said he’s glad to teach in the area where he lives.

“There is a real sense of community here,” he said.

priscella.vega@latimes.com

Twitter: @vegapriscella

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