Hidden Figure: Erica Sutton
Crystal: Who is Erica Sutton?
Erica: Erica Sutton is an educator and life coach. A leader working towards greatness in all aspects of her life and all those she encounters.
Crystal: How long have you been a teacher and what subject do you teach?
Erica: I have been a teacher for 13 years. Currently I teach math and social studies but I’ve taught all k-5 subject matters.
Crystal: What do you love about what you do?
Erica: I love that each year I have 180 days to influence the future to be great and inspire others.
Crystal: What does success look like in your classroom?
Erica: In my classroom, success looks like students being ok to not be right as they understand how important their voice and thoughts are. I help them find success in believing that what they think is valued.
Crystal: How do you inspire students to do their best?
Erica: I give my best to inspire students to do the same.
Crystal: What do you want students to say about your classroom when they leave?
Erica: I want students to say that they aren’t afraid to voice their thoughts because they were always encouraged to express that right.
Crystal: If you could share one piece of advice for aspiring teachers, what would it be?
Erica: Get to know your students, experience them outside of school, form a connection with their parents, and always let them know that even after they leave your class they can always come to you for help.
Crystal: As a teacher, how did Hidden Figures inspire you?
Erica: It inspired me because so often people are impressed with my work in the classroom, but are not always supportive of my career goals. I was inspired to work even harder towards my career goals because you cannot contain greatness forever when it’s what is needed to make the difference.
Crystal: Did you know the Hidden Figures story prior to the movie?
Erica: No, I didn’t.
Crystal: What do you think of the concept of human computers?
Erica: The things we use most often, such as cars and the transportation systems, were all created before computers. The human mind puts these things to work and I think that it is truly a gift to be so talented.
Crystal: Who is your Hidden Figure/mentor?
Erica: Honestly, struggle is the concept that drives me. Experiencing so much of it as a child giving less than my best was never an option.
Crystal: What is your favorite quote?
Erica: “Always see your dreams through”
Crystal: How do you define success?
Erica: For me, success is defined by the comfort one finds in the work they do. When you have reached success, work isn’t difficult; happiness isn’t hard to obtain; and peace is always seen in your smile.
Crystal: What is your favorite book?
Erica: My favorite book is “The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” by Langston Hughes.
Crystal: What words of inspiration can you leave the audience?
Erica: Value who you are even when people are not cheering or praising the good you do. Continue to do things with a kind heart, grace, and pride.