Sometimes it takes a while for a person to decide what they want to do for a career.

Such is the case with this week’s Golden Apple Award-winning teacher.

Eric Trapp is a grade school teacher at Iroquois Elementary. Not everyone who’s been awarded the Golden Apple always planned to be a teacher.

Sometimes the inspiration comes later.

“I actually went to college for two years and had no idea what I wanted to do. I have an older sister who is a principal and she was a big inspiration to me. I saw how much she loved it, enjoyed it, we got to talking and I said, you know what, I’ll give this a try. And honestly, I remember being in my first class on the first day and I said you know what, this is what I want to do,” said Eric Trapp, Golden Apple teacher, Iroquois Elementary School.

Twelve years into his teaching career, Mr. Trapp said success comes from duplicating tips and tricks he learned from his teachers

“I try to listen to what they have to say. I try to put myself in their position. I was a kid once too. I try to look back and think what did those teachers do that made it fun and take that into consideration,” Trapp said.

Fun is exactly why this week’s student nominator wrote to us.

“He’s just really fun, his classroom is really fun to be in. I’m really glad he’s my teacher,” said Jocelyn Nolan, student nominator.

And making learning fun gets a thumbs up from the professor who teaches teachers to teach.

“His classroom is fun. They trust him. He gives them choices. He wears colorful clothes and he plays jazz, I mean, what a fun place to be,” said Mary Jo Melvin, PhD, PennWest University. “And I think you put all that stuff together and you have one very special Golden Apple teacher.

Mr. Trapp and his classroom received $250 from Big Ideas Learning.

“It’s all about giving back and you could see the reaction from Mr. Trapp, when he said this is for you to the students, so seeing a teacher so invested in his students makes us giving him this money to help their classroom even better,” said Jill McCormick, Big Ideas Learning.

Congratulations Eric Trapp, this week’s JET 24 PennWest University Holden Apple Award winner.