Teacher Spotlight: Heather Eyrich Proves A Positive Influence On Students

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Teacher Spotlight: Heather Eyrich Proves A Positive Influence On Students

Photo Courtesy of Emil Liden

Photo Courtesy of Emil Liden

Photo Courtesy of Emil Liden

Jing McIntosh-Yee, Staff Writer

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Minnetonka Social Studies teacher Heather Eyrich has been teaching Social Studies at Minnetonka for 18 years. After growing up in Fargo, North Dakota, her family moved to Minnesota once she had graduated from high school. She attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she majored in international relations, specializing in economics and political science.

Today, Eyrich teaches the International Baccalaureate History of Europe Year 2 course for seniors, as well as online World History. Students not only enjoy the positive atmosphere in her classroom, but also her willingness to support them.

“She genuinely wants to see you succeed. She’s pretty funny, [and] I never leave the class without a smile on my face,” said Luke Gogerty, ‘19.

One of the reasons Eyrich is drawn to teaching is because of the new things she learns everyday from her students. She also enjoys the challenge of discovering new ways to teach her students, especially for her Tonka Online World History class.

“It’s the kind of job that’s never boring, everyday is different. [My favorite part] is learning something new that you think is going to somehow make a lesson or something that you’re working on with your class better. I also think that when you come up with an idea that’s a different way to do something that you’ve done before, that’s exciting to me. Especially if it ends up as something you can see the students have a lot of success with, or that it really helps them in understanding the topic, or if they seem like they enjoy what you’ve planned, then it makes you feel good,” Eyrich said.

Throughout the majority of her years as a Social Studies teacher, she has taught World History in a classroom setting, but recently has been teaching that particular course online.

“[Teaching online has] been a positive difference that I think has challenged me and made me think about subjects in different ways and how to explain or communicate things when you’re not actually present.”

About her IB classes, she said “it’s with [these classes] that you can go so in depth with things. So, I think what drew me to the [IB History of Europe course] is that I feel like I’m studying the topic with the students because I don’t ever know all that there is to know either, and so I like that. There’s always that challenge of having more to find, so for me, in a way, I think it’s continuing to build your understanding of something that drew me to the history topics.”

Outside of the classroom, Eyrich enjoys reading historical fiction books. Her favorites include All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Her favorite historical non-fiction book is In the Garden of Beasts written by Erik Larson. When she’s not reading or supporting her kids at events and sports games, Eyrich loves spending time with her family at their cabin.

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