Detroit Red Wings November 2023 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

Detroit Red Wings logo

Detroit Red Wings November 2023 Teacher of the Month


Bill Boerman


Woodbridge Elementary School

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

My teaching career has spanned not only our country but different parts of the world.  I am currently teaching a 4th grade class at Woodbridge Elementary School, and I have taught for 25 years. My 5th grade teacher was my inspiration, and it was not because of specific skills she taught us in class. It was because she sacrificed her time to come out with us and play football.  Her kindness and care for us is what originally sparked my interest in teaching.  One of my favorite aspects of teaching relates to providing students with these same types of ‘touchpoints’ of learning.  Whether it be designing a garden for our school and community, using 3D printing as a tool to help others, or taking them to the local homeless shelter to serve dinner, these types of opportunities make a difference.

Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?

My favorite NHL player would definitely have to be Dylan Larkin. I say this not because of his great hockey skills, but more about how he has conducted himself throughout his career. He has been on some VERY good Red Wings teams, and he has been on some that have struggled. Through it all he has done two things: play hard and focus on the overall improvement of the team versus himself. My attitude and work ethic are two pieces I can control. His attitude is a good model for me as well.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

The Future Goals program has provided us with a unique way to connect the real world with the math concepts we are learning in class. Whether it be computing with decimals, using a protractor to find angles of the boards, or covering the ice with a ‘basketball court’, seeing these skills used in sports is meaningful to them. Not only that, we are able to tie in our learning on Future Goals with our school day field trip to a GR Griffins game! It helps them learn more about hockey AND learn!

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

A defenseman best models my attitude. As a teacher, I find that I spend a lot of time and energy defending what is right/needed for the students. Parents will sometimes push their past on their children. Administrators will sometimes push test scores. Other teachers will sometimes push for certain ways things need to be done. I find that making sure I defend what I see as the daily needs of my students and also occasionally going in the attack zone for my students is a balance I live daily.