MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This week’s Excellent Educator was nominated by a parent of one of her students, and she said it’s the ultimate compliment.
“I love these kids like they’re my own. So, to think that it’s noticed and to see that parents see that I care about their kids as much as they do, they send them to me every day and they trust me with them, it’s wonderful,” Andrea Erichsrud said.
Erichsrud teaches second and third great at Robert L. Stevenson Elementary School in Fridley. In fact, she’s had her current students two years in a row.
But don’t bring up 4th grade! Both students and teacher will be sad to part ways.
The bond she creates with them is what makes Mrs. E an Excellent Educator.
Every day, Mrs. E. is reminded why she became a teacher, seeing the lightbulb go off in her students.
“Just yesterday one of the kids, one of our little girls in the back, just went ‘Oh!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, good!’ When you see those moments it makes it worth it,” she said.
She’s helped these students have “ah-ha” moments for the last two years. Through the school’s “loop program,” she keeps the same students from second to third grade.
“Now next year, they move on to 4th grade. Which we’re trying to deal with, right guys?” she asked her students.
The program helps create strong relationships that can be hard to let go, but it also helps with academics.
“It’s really awesome because, number one, you don’t have to get to know your students at the beginning of the year again. You know exactly where they’re at academically, you’ve developed relationships with the families, with the kids, you just start off where we left off,” she said.
But Mrs. E. and her students are already dreading the day they have to say goodbye.
“Yes, we don’t talk about it,” she said.
But she tells them she’ll be just right down the hall, and hopes they stop in to say hello.
“I think it’s just really, truly the relationships with the kids that I just love. I mean, I come here every day and I truly love these kids, I do,” she said.