Some people find their career long before they enter the workforce while others find a career they’re passionate about later in life. For Erik Fisher, special education teacher at Norwalk Middle School, it was during high school.
“It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I really knew that I wanted to be a teacher,” he says. During that time he helped his math teacher grade tests and assignments and coached Little League. From there, his love of teaching and working with students grew. He attended Central College in Pella, majoring in elementary education and later earned a special education endorsement from Upper Iowa University.
Watching students experience the “light bulb moment,” the moment, Fisher says, when they grasp the subject and know they can do it, is something he loves most about being in the classroom. The looks of relief and joy make teaching worthwhile.
In addition to working with inspiring students, Fisher is blessed with co-teachers in math and English literature.
“They make coming to work exciting,” he says. “We feed off each other so well that we even tend to get side-tracked on things from time to time.”
Another exciting part of teaching is the use of Apple iPads in the classroom. Fisher received a grant from the Norwalk Education Student Foundation to purchase an iPad and an Apple television. He uses them in conjunction with iPads the special education department already had. The technology has added a level of excitement and motivation in the classroom. For example, students used iPads to create a storyboard/play and will soon be creating podcasts.
When he isn’t in the classroom, Fisher enjoys taking vacations to South Haven, Mich., with his wife’s family and attending his children’s sporting events and activities. He also likes to make his way to Ames for Iowa State University events and to Minneapolis for Minnesota Twins games.
In fact, if he weren’t a teacher, his dream job would be as groundskeeper for the Twins.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to work outside and still be able to watch my favorite ball club at the same time,” he says.