Educator Spotlight: MCE’s Erika Trim.

February 27, 2022

Educator Spotlight: MCE’s Erika Trim.

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, Staff Writer.

Educator Spotlight is a presentation of is a presentation of Smith & Eddy Insurance, with offices in Scottville and Manistee, offering discounts for MEA members and school employees.

CUSTER – Most people going into education do not get the opportunity to be in the classroom full time, teaching before they graduate with their degree. In Erika Trim’s case, this is reality. Trim has been a long term substitute for Mason County Eastern for the last three and a half years and she will be finishing up her teaching degree very soon.

“ I have been a substitute teacher at MCE since the fall of 2018. “I teach middle school special education which covers all subject areas.”

Trim is a graduate of Mason County Central Schools and prior to going into education, she was a realtor for 12 years.

“I graduated from Mason County Central and then from West Shore Community College in 2000, she said. “I was asked to substitute teach by a friend who was going on medical leave and I never left. In the summer of 2019, I enrolled in college. In the fall of 2023, I will be graduating with my bachelor’s degree in special education.”

Trim said her favorite part of teaching is working with kids and that the bonds made in education are really what drive her in the field and are what she tells people who are interested in a career as an educator.

“I love making a difference in my students’ lives,” she said. “To actually watch them be proud of their accomplishments and of who they are as a person. The greatest reason to join the field of education is to help change the lives of students as they become productive members of society.”

Of course, there are different things all educators would like see change in the field and Trim is not exception to that. Even only being in the classroom for a little over three years, she sees things that she’d like to see change to better her students.

“I would rather see more hands-on hours of training instead of seat hours for course work to become a teacher, she stated. “Being able to immerse yourself in the environment has been more educational than any class I have taken.”

Most educators would agree that the direct contact with students in the classroom is what makes up the best case scenario for student learning. During Trim’s three and a half years teaching a portion of it has been during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was done virtually. If just entering into teaching was hard enough, switching to virtual shortly after would be even more difficult.

“Online learning in the spring of 2020 was extremely difficult,” Trim said. “I was glad that MCE was able to keep their doors open for all of the students to return to in person learning in the fall of 2020. The students realized that they needed socialization to stay mentally healthy and direct instruction to help them be academically successful.”

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