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Heather Erlandson

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Heather Erlandson

Name: Heather Erlandson
School: McCormick Elementary School
City: Farmington
State: New Mexico
Grade(s): 5th
Subject(s): All general elementary

What quote inspires you?
“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

What is your favorite color and why?
It’s changed throughout the years, and I’m currently enjoying green. It’s fresh, clean, and reminds me of being outdoors.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
I love my mobile cubbies—they allow kids to be more independent in getting materials they need, and I love being organized and knowing where everything is!

How would you describe your teaching style?
Very structured, with flexibility offered within the structure. It’s wonderful to see the kids get creative, while feeling secure with boundaries. 5th grade gets my dry sense of humor, and appreciates my lame jokes, too!

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
In 3rd grade, when Mrs. Gilliland was my teacher and I realized I never wanted to stop going to school.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Matter is so much fun to teach! Lots of experiments, cool reactions, and homemade root beer!

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Overcoming poverty and trauma in children to realize academic growth. Sometimes they make great gains in reading and math, but I wasn’t able to help them at all in their personal life. Sometimes it’s the other way around. I want to be able to always to do both.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I would be the pet petter at a veterinary clinic—the one who pets the animals to help calm them, holds them while their owner does paperwork, and doesn’t clean up messes!

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
My bedroom is a disaster area! Everything that doesn’t have a home goes there, and baskets of laundry stay there until I get a spare minute to fold!

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
It’s up to them to make the world better.

What are your three favorite books?
1. A Wrinkle in Time
2. The Book Thief
3. Little Men

Which do you prefer:

pen or pencil

tea or coffee

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

dentist or faculty meeting

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to kellie.noszka@schoolsin.com.

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