Congratulations to Allison Erickson, Cedar Ridge Elementary's Teacher of the Year!
Congratulations to Allison Erickson, who has been chosen to be Cedar Ridge Elementary’s Teacher of the Year! Erickson is a first-grade teacher who works with the Chinese dual language immersion (DLI) program at Cedar Ridge. She teaches English writing, reading, and vocabulary to her young students.
Soon after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in elementary education, Erickson taught for eight years in Preston, Idaho, before taking a 16-year break to raise her two children. Once they were both in school all day, Erickson began working in Cache County School District as a reading aide. During those seven years as an aide, she rediscovered her love for the classroom and decided to return to teaching. She has now been teaching first grade for six years.
Teaching first graders was intimidating at first for Erickson, who previously taught third and fourth graders. She was “scared to death” and nervous about teaching such young children how to read and write. However, she found that her time as an aide had given her valuable experience and she was confident in her abilities to help students succeed. Never afraid of a challenge, she pursued professional development with new techniques and methods that were not in place when she began teaching 30 years ago.
Erickson has found that she really enjoys teaching first-grade students. “They are kind, pure, innocent, and sweet,” she explained. “They aren’t mean to each other. They love their teacher and they love each other.” Her students' admiration and love for Erickson is apparent when observing her interactions with them.
The years Erickson spent away from the classroom, along with raising her own children, gave her valuable experience which she draws upon as she teaches. However, her philosophy as an educator never changed. “The more you teach your students, the more they learn,” she said. “You have to be the one in front teaching. You don’t just ask them to do things. You have to go through all the motions, modeling and showing them how to do things. That is when they learn.”
Principal Amy Bassett described Erickson as “a master teacher” with the ability to engage her students. “She has every student's eyes glued on her,” Bassett explained. “She makes learning exciting. She has a calm demeanor and is a lot of fun!"