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Stories from the Field

California Casualty Awardees Kimberly Erickson: Beyond the Music

Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Kimberly Erickson, a band and orchestra director at Norfolk Middle School in Norfolk. NE. 

While my teaching is focused on music, it is not limited to music in the education of my students. Passion for history, cultural diversity, and acceptance in the classroom are of the utmost importance.

Words cannot express my excitement when my kids have an amazing day in the classroom or have just “nailed” a piece we’ve been preparing. The times that they bring me to tears by how well they are playing. The moments when they are brought to tears because of the stories and history behind the music. The hugs that start my day and end my week. The openness, the family, and above all, the love in our classroom.

This is the award. Loving what you do, loving the students that you work with, and loving the process of student development. This is what education means to me.

Meet more of the 2018 NEA Foundation awardees hereLearn more about the NEA Foundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence criteria and nominations process.

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