Edie Erickson teaches a combined 3rd and 4th grade class at the Diocese of Marquette in Michigan. She shared “I have been using Discovery Education’s awesome tools since my student teaching placement in 2008. DE’s tools have provided a way for me to bring the material alive and show them things that just aren’t possible in a text.”
How do you start your day?
With a Diet Coke
Why did you become a teacher?
For the money. Just kidding! I have always school and learning and really couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
I love using the Science Techbook as a basis for my science stations! Their are so many great resources to choose from and the kids love the independence of being able to discover things without having me hover over them.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
I have lots and lots of rituals! I love routine, so almost every part of my school day is pretty predictable for the kids. My favorite ritual is probably my weekly “Top Banana” award. I have a monkey theme in my classroom and when thinking about recognizing a star student each week, I stumbled across the idea of the Top Banana Award. The kids work really hard to earn the title and are rewarded with a banana shaped trophy for their desk, free dress, show and tell time, and lunch with a loved one. It is a super special week for the kids, and I love being able to showcase how great they all are!
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
Start with something small, like a video clip, and see how it goes. Experiment and try new things. Some things will work for you, others won’t. Don’t be scared – if you have a hard time with the logistics, hand it over to your kids! Not only will they probably be able to figure it out, but they will be very proud to be able to help the teacher!
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
Don’t try to be perfect, and don’t pretend to be perfect! Parents respond well to imperfection. This was a hard lesson for me, but you would be surprised at how much more approachable you become when you are willing and able to admit your mistakes (and even laugh at yourself!)
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
I love the DEN blogs and Pinterest! There are just too many great ideas!
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
I’m a DE LC member and am also a part of MACUL.
What is your most memorable experience with the DEN?
My most memorable DEN experience would be when I first set foot in the door for my first DEN Summer Institute in Burlington, VT. I was very nervous (I’m painstakingly introverted), and I knew no one (or so I thought), but the first person I saw was Porter! Not only was I greeted with a hug, but I was so impressed when she knew me by name and started introducing me to others. It put me totally at ease and really made me feel welcomed and valued.
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
Traveling! I love going anywhere new! My favorite place in the world is Savannah, Georgia, with Charleston, South Carolina being a close second. If I’m closer to home, I like spending time outdoors – camping, hiking, swimming in the beautiful lakes of Michigan! I also love to sew, bake, and work in the garden.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
A free donut!
How can others connect with you?
Connect with Edie and share your favorite ways to use digital media in the classroom!