Wondering if your child’s classroom is full of wonder and whimsy? It is if Anna Burns, 31, is in front of the chalkboard, or white board, or whatever it is they use these days. Giant iPads? The Syracuse native and Waltham resident teaches second grade in the Weston Public Schools system. She also is the force behind dear friend , a darling blog about day trips, wish lists, and Burns’s colorful day-to-day agenda, balancing academia and exploration. Her Instagram account, @nannerburns, is an extension of the same dreamy landscape, making me wonder, do these kids know just how cool their teacher is online?
Q. How did you end up in Boston?
A. I met one of my best friends in college and she was from Florida and both of us decided to try out a new city when we graduated. We moved into a little apartment at Massachusetts Ave. and Beacon Street and lived there two years before she got married and moved back down South. I never left and will probably never leave.
Over the years, I’ve moved further out of the city — from Back Bay to Brookline, Arlington, and now Waltham. It’s closer to work, but still accessible.
Q. What made you stay?
A. Honestly, I loved the architecture. It’s beautiful. And I appreciate all of the seasons and Boston is beautiful in every one of them.
Q. How is second grade different now than when you were in second grade?
A. There’s a big social emotional piece that I don’t remember having when I was younger. I remember it being more academic. It’s still definitely devoted to academics, but we also do a lot of social learning. I’m teaching my kids about kindness and how to get along with others.
Oh no. Definitely not. This is not gorgeous AT ALL.
Q. What made you go into teaching?
A. I always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. Plus, I have fun every day with the kids. I say they keep me young because I’m smiling all of the time.
Q. What are your students reading now?
A. I read chapter books to my students each day. I can go through about eight a year if we do a little bit each day. I love an author named Kate DiCamillo who wrote “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.” It’s about this rabbit who goes on an adventure.
A pay it forward of sorts, and a just because-- three favorite feeds that make my IG world go round... @mrsmajczan @wishfulnals @annapolisandco // happy weekend, everyone!
Q. And what are you reading?
A. I just finished Lena Dunham’s book. I went to go see her speak in Boston. It’s funny because I’m reading “Pippi Longstocking” to my students now and have been telling them about how the character is so brave and strong and marches to the beat of her own drum. She kind of reminds me of Lena.
There's a new post on my blog today recapping our great Hut-to-Hut adventure in the White Mountains. So many bright colors and gorgeous views. It's one of my favorites ever.
Q. So do you like your students follow you on Instagram?
A. They’re only in second grade! I hope they don’t have Instagram! My feed is my life and I don’t post pictures from the classroom on Instagram. You’ve got to have a dividing line.Interview was edited and condensed. Rachel Raczka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.