WDC Teachers are Superheroes series - Mr. Brunsberg
Mike Brunsberg ... English Teache
How many years have you been teaching English at WDC High School?
"This is my 16th year at WDC. I also taught at Bertha-Hewitt and Plummer/Red Lake Falls."
Why did you want to be an English teacher? Anyone influence you?
"When I considered pursuing an education degree (after a year of pre-pharmacy!), I originally started in social studies. That almost worked out—except I ran out of time to get coaching certification before graduation (which was a must to be competitive for a social studies position). So, I switched to an English emphasis—mostly out of fondness for the writing associated with those courses. My dad likes to write, so I blame him!"
In your opinion, has social media, emails and text messaging affected the way students write? Are students still learning how to write a handwritten letter?
"We use paper/pencil nearly every day in high school language arts classes—not usually for handwritten letters, though. I’m a fan of the handwritten letter, so I’ll do my best to save it! As far as the impact of digital norms, I haven’t noticed much direct influence on academic student writing other than quicker access to information and the occasional emoji. Students seem to be able to compartmentalize the different modes of writing in their life. Many people assume that 'txt' abbreviations seep into and taint academic writing, but that’s not really been the case."
Why do you think WDC is a great school?
"Minnesota has a lot of great public schools, including WDC. Things are still based on the common sense value of 'Let’s do what’s best for kids,' and for the most part, the kids shine. Short answer: the students. I like my colleagues too—they make work life comfortable and fun."
Tell us a little about yourself?
"In addition to my career, I see myself mainly as a husband and dad, so I like to do family things."
Any pastimes or hobbies?
"Music and sports…the typical distractions, as Mark Twain might have said."
Can you share with us a favorite book?
"I like books about the Beatles. Their story never tires me, and new books about the Beatles are continually published, so I’m not the only one."