Mr. Toby Erickson - Co-Fifth Grade and Lead Teacher
I have been teaching now for over 24 years. I have also worked in construction, as a radio D.J., and as a Youth Pastor.
All of my teaching experience has been in Oroville where I have lived since the 8th grade. I attended Central School, Oroville High School, Butte College and Chico State. As a teacher, I have worked at Concow Middle School, Wyandotte Avenue, Stanford Avenue, Ishi Hills and Ophir Schools. I have worked at the 3rd through 8th grade levels as a classroom teacher, technology specialist and as a GATE teacher.
My wife Leanne and I have raised our 3 kids here in Oroville. They all attended the local public schools. I had all three of my children as students as they passed through my grade level. Our kids are all grown up now and are making their way through college and careers.
I introduced Legos as a part of my curriculum back in the mid 90’s. At that time there was very little curriculum available for using Legos in the classroom. I wrote my own curriculum and have enjoyed using these versatile building blocks in my classroom ever since. I also developed problem based units for electronics, rockets, radio drama, aeronautics, computer games, video production, inventions, animation and more.
My philosophy of education is simply stated: ENGAGEMENT over MASTERY. I believe when kids are excited about what they are doing in a classroom, they cannot help themselves from learning and performing closer and closer to their best.
Some of my favorite stories from former students are the ones where students who never thought they were ”good at school” suddenly find themselves doing something so well that they are the “go-to guy” or “gal” . They never knew they were so smart! Building a rocket, robot or making movies is a different kind of smart that many students never get to show.
This year, I am playing the role of LEAD TEACHER at STREAM. In the afternoons I am taking over the 5th grade classroom (..so my wife and I share this group). A typical day might have me teaching coding to kindergarteners, doing a social studies simulation with 5th grade, building simple machines with 4th grade and making and programming robots during Genius Hour with 7th and 8th graders. We hope this role will continue to engage and establish a STEM integrated curriculum for all levels at STREAM.
STREAM has been an amazing adventure for my wife Leanne and me. We wanted to build a new kind of school in Oroville where technology, the arts and engagement are the emphasis. The job skills our kids need to succeed require STEM, Problem and Project Based Learning, and collaboration. STREAM is developing this approach to teaching and learning while providing a positive learning community at the same time.
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - (530) 534-1633