Wisconsin 2014 Teacher of the Year Mr. Rick Erickson was hosted by the Education student organization EMSA Monday, November 17 evening to speak with teacher education students about his journey as a teacher. Mr. Erickson, a 1984 graduate of UMD's secondary teacher preparation program, spoke with students about his devotion to teaching that began early in his career and how it continues to sustain him. He explained his philosophy that guides his teaching and shared inspiring stories from his thirty-plus years of high school teaching, first in St. Paul and for the past 20 years in Bayfield, Wisconsin. He spoke about place-based, problem-based, experiential learning as the foundation of his teaching high school science. Mr. Erickson encouraged students to be politically active in their profession, to advocate for teachers and for students. He remarked that the honor he has been given allows him to "represent all of the amazing teachers out there."
The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare learner sensitive educators with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to contribute to a better society. The Learner Sensitive Educator Conceptual Framework is the shared foundation for all education programs at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). The framework is built on a foundation of professional standards and emphasizes five themes: reflection, collaboration, empowerment, social justice and technology. In addition to preparing teachers for licensure in Preschool to Grade 12 (P-12) settings, the department provides a wide range of in-service and graduate programs for educators in school and non-school settings. Department faculty are also engaged in a variety of research and development activities related to teaching and learning.