Recognition of excellence in teaching is not often done publicly, and I am honored to even be considered for the Presidential Award. It acknowledges the ongoing creativity and dedication I contribute to this profession and underscores the importance of STEM education in the elementary classroom. This achievement will solidify my continued effort to inspire my students to achieve high standards in science, and to pursue careers in STEM fields long after they have left third grade.
Erica Rood has spent the last eight years teaching third grade at CHIME Charter School. Working in a full-inclusion environment, Erica ardently believes that all students are capable of learning science. She subscribes to Socrates’ words, “Wisdom begins in wonder,” and hopes to inspire her students to be both curious and inquisitive not only in science, but in all content areas.
For her leadership and commitment to the profession, Erica has been recognized as a distinguished teacher by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers convening, and the California Department of Education's TEACH California initiative.
As an innovator in STEM education, she has created curriculum for both NASA and Edwards Air Force Base’s Junior Test Pilot School to inspire elementary students toward STEM disciplines. Erica recently published the STEM and arts integration chapter in "What Really Works in Elementary Education."
Erica earned her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in musical theater and her master's of curriculum and instruction, with distinction, from California State University, Northridge. She is a certified NASA Endeavor Teacher Leader and is credentialed in elementary education. Erica is an Elementary Education faculty member at California State University.