Leigh Ann Erickson

Guest Blogger

Teacher

Mount Vernon, Iowa

Leigh Ann Erickson is a high school teacher at Mount Vernon Community Schools, Iowa. She has designed and built a curriculum for teaching cross-cultural understanding and acceptance to high school students.

After teaching in NYC and Chicago public schools, Erickson learned firsthand the unjust challenges and barriers students of color face in school. In Mt. Vernon, she works to teach her predominantly White students to use their privilege to advocate for others.

Erickson has partnered with many others to develop and teach social justice and African American literature curriculum in Mt. Vernon. She is the founder of Undone Consulting and the Connect, Absorb, Respond and Empower (CARE) conference that brings authentic and relationship-building conversations about race and bias into high schools.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York City. Erickson was recently awarded the Her Woman of Achievement Award by the eastern Iowa Gazette, was a 2019 finalist for Iowa Teacher of the Year and delivered a keynote titled “What Should We Teach White Students” at the 2019 NNSTOY Teacher Leadership Conference. Erickson is grateful to play a small part in a conversation about race and equity that has been happening in our country for centuries.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Oct. 16, 2019

White Students Can Fight for Racial Justice, But Only If Teachers Are Willing to Give Them the Tools

I teach a class in which my predominantly White juniors and seniors teach all of the predominantly White freshmen and…

By Leigh Ann Erickson

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Posted Apr. 19, 2021

We Can’t Protect Our Students From Racism, But We Can Prepare Them to Combat and Reject It

On January 6, when an angry mob stormed the Capitol, I was in the middle of teaching my 7th grade English language arts students about…

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Posted Apr. 16, 2021

The Pandemic Is Exactly Why We Need Standardized Testing

In the next few weeks, nearly all school districts in the U.S. will offer at least some in-person instruction. The worst of the pandemic school…

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Posted Apr. 13, 2021

Meet Two Teachers Learning to Center Their Students’ Identities Without Losing Sight of Their Own

Lindsay Singer and Ashley McCall are both third grade teachers at Cesar Chavez Multicultural Academic Center in Chicago. Lindsay teaches mathematics and inquiry. And Ashley…

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