Student teacher shares his love of history with students

 

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Student teacher Greg Anderson started working with World History teacher Bill Staples at the end of September. Anderson approaches the class with jokes as well as interesting anecdotes to keep students’ attention. He tries to really be responsive to what students are saying.

“Teaching is a very complicated process,” Anderson said. “There is so many different kinds of learning and people involved, to hold their attention, the different styles of learning, getting everyone in the class to be interested and stay on topic, is a great and fun challenge.”

Anderson grew up in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston on the northwest wide. He went to Klein High School, also in Spring.

“My high school had almost 4,000 people in it,” Anderson said. “It was not centered on fine arts. They had them available, but it was mostly a sports school. And academics, of course, but most of the emphasis was on sports programs. They had every sport you could imagine. They even  had their own swimming pool.”

Anderson was not involved in these sports in high school. Instead, he spent his time in German Club. He studied abroad in Germany for a year during high school.

“[Studying abroad] was the greatest thing ever,” Anderson said. “Seriously, I was on a year of vacation in Europe. I mean, I went to school, but imagine taking chemistry in another language. It’s impossible, so they didn’t make me do those subjects. I did English, art, music and I was in history class, but it was mostly just looking at pictures and stuff.”

Anderson said he has always been interested in history. He decided he wanted to become a history teacher when he was 13 years old.

“With history, your options are very limited,” Anderson said. “You write books, conduct research or teach. And with the idea of teaching, it’s very interesting and fun to me. I truly have wanted to do this over half of my life. I get to talk about history all day and share my passion of the subject with 150 people a day, 75 if it is block schedule. If I could work with the subject, I would truly be happy for the rest of my life.”

Anderson took an alternate certification course from Staples called Educators for Excellence. When it was time for Anderson to find a teacher, he emailed Staples, who agreed.

“[Mr. Staples] is great,” Anderson said. “He is the perfect person to be showing me this because I am interested in teaching history and he has got it down. He knows exactly what he is doing, and I couldn’t ask for a better instructor.”

Before coming to McCallum, Anderson worked several different jobs.

“I spent the last three years delivering pizzas, and although there were many aspects of that job I did not like, driving around and listening to music all day is pretty easy when it comes to work,” Anderson said. “Also, I worked for five years in two different video stores, and talking about movies and video games to people all day is also a fun way to earn a paycheck.”

Outside of work, Anderson enjoys many activities. He loves his two dogs, Dottie and Glen, and cat, Veronica (“Cud” for short).

“I collect vinyl records,” Anderson said. “I like movies. I like going to outdoor stuff, kayaking, parks, concerts. I like going to see live music. I’m lucky that I live in this city for that. When I used to live in Houston, I would have to drive here like 10 times a year, and now I’m already here.”

Anderson said he mostly enjoys science fiction movies, but does not watch much TV.

“I did watch the whole ‘Breaking Bad’ series,” Anderson said. “I’m being bored to death on the latest season of ‘The Walking Dead.’ Other than that, old ‘Star Trek’ episodes all day.”

Anderson said he enjoys all of these things, but none more than history.

“[My goals as a teacher are] to make people as interested in history as I am,” Anderson said. “To help [students] meet state requirements, of course, but also just to genuinely find the subject interesting and learn because they are interested, not because they have to.”

 

 

 

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