Eric Pfaff is a member of the Museum of Pop Culture’s Teacher Advisory Board (TAB), which helps MoPOP develop programs that meet the complex needs of modern classrooms. TAB members test new programming, receive free exclusive workshops, and influence the museum’s curriculum. Let's get to know Eric!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you teach!
Eric: Hello! I’m Eric Pfaff, a third- and fourth-grade teacher at Wing Luke Elementary School in south Seattle. I have been teaching for a little over a decade now, and have enjoyed (almost) every second of it.
Any tips for teaching in the age of COVID-19?
Eric: I’ve been doing a lot of trial and error in these first months of online learning, but one thing that’s been most effective is focusing the learning experience around being consistent, social, and fun (because don’t all of us need those things right now?). I have the benefit of working with a student teacher and a City Year corps member and both of them are AMAZING—so everything happens in small groups. The amount of asynchronous time is minimal. And best of all, I’ve seen a lot of smiles and excitement for class… Bear in mind, I just started this recently, but I think it’s been really beneficial for my classroom community and culture so far.
Why did you apply to be a part of MoPOP's Teacher Advisory Board?
Eric: This is my second year on the Teacher Advisory Board—I originally joined to increase the opportunities available to my students. However, I applied to stay on a second year because MoPOP does a great job of listening to teacher feedback and developing educational programs, and it really felt rewarding to be a part of such a productive process.
How does MoPOP connect to your classroom content?
Eric: MoPOP works really hard at connecting what they’re doing and passionate about with what schools are doing. Last year, for example, I brought my students to two workshops. One directly integrated with our science unit on sound and the other was a writing lesson on The Hero’s Journey, where we explored an exhibit and learned about a way of structuring fiction storytelling. What I like about the MoPOP workshops and exhibits are that, while they may not always align 100% to CCSS, they expand on what the students are learning and take it in directions that I might not have done on my own.
What is your favorite memory at MoPOP, and your own pop culture passion?
Eric: I’ve been coming to MoPOP since it opened. I remember the excitement of coming in and getting to spend hours playing different instruments. I loved bringing friends and pretending to play in a band in front of a screaming crowd—that was always a huge highlight. I also like coming to MoPOP because I get to nerd out with my students about my current pop culture loves—anime (so many great shows that are great for quarantine times!), Twitter and TikTok comedy, and video games.
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