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Eric Rush, Fairbanks North Star Borough District (AK)

Personalized Learning Superhero

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Name: Eric Rush

Role: Third Grade Teacher

District: Fairbanks North Star Borough District (AK); 14,000 students

Years in education: 8

Years district has worked with Education Elements: 1

About Eric: District and school leaders point to Eric as an inspirational teacher who has taught with elements of personalized learning for several years. This year, Eric started a YouTube channel to share his practices. He inspires students with engaging lessons and has seen significant growth. At the beginning of the year, 67% of Eric’s students needed Tier II and III interventions in math. By the end of the year, 79% of his students were in Tier 1, and the number of students needing Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions had fallen to 22%.  He is currently being considered for Alaskan Teacher of the Year.

Why did you start your YouTube channel? I started it because I was talking with my wife and she noticed how many emails I was getting from people asking how I was doing certain things. It’s been really great to be able to share what I’ve been doing with other people, not only within my building but also in the region and even nationally. A really cool thing this year was that a teacher in Ohio saw a video and got in touch with me and we started talking about how I set my classroom up and why I did that. I do the videos because I want to learn from others too, so I want people to share with me what they liked about what I was doing and what suggestions they have.”

What do you wish people knew about personalized learning? “There’s a misconception that personalized learning is all about the technology. People think personalized learning and they picture kids like zombies just staring at screens. I wish they could come into my classroom, and other classrooms that are doing this, and see kids working together, helping each other solve problems, doing research, rotating through stations, and talking to each other.”

Follow Eric on Twitter: @MrEru2001


“Eric has the superpower of building the confidence of his kids. That inspires relief with parents because their kids go from reluctant learners to just begging to go to school, which has become a place that they love. For some parents, that is different from how they grew up and their experience with academics. So Eric has a really positive impact not only on students but on our community as well.”
–Shawna Henderson, Ticasuk Brown Elementary Principal

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