DCTA Member Profile
“Teachers are the driving force of education.”
William Anderson, Manual High School
William Anderson is what you might call a “teacher’s teacher.” Passionate for his profession and determined to make a difference, he happily works tireless hours (well, maybe not always happily) to help his students meet their potential.
“I became a teacher because in my heart I believe that teaching is what I was put on this planet to do,” said William, who teaches 10-12th US History and 12th Grade AVID at Manual High School. “The best part of my job is helping students discover and rediscover historical events and connect them to their lives. Showing them how people like them changed the world and hopefully inspiring them to be change agents in our society.”
A teacher for nine years (seven with DPS), William has been teaching long enough to have a few opinions on the profession. The self-confessed history, sports, movie, music and comic book nerd says he wants to “teach forever” but confesses there are a few areas the profession can be improved:
- Teacher trust and influence. “I believe that teachers are professionals and should be treated as such,” William said, adding that he strongly feels teachers should have a greater sphere of influence with regard to school decisions. “Teachers are the driving force of education but are often asked to take a backseat to people that are not in the ‘trenches’ with us. Too often that hurts and does not help teachers or students.”
- Compensation. “Clearly as professionals we should be better compensated financially as teachers,” he said. “For the amount of time, energy, and stress that goes into being a good to great teacher, money should be the last thing that we should have to worry about.”
- Diversity. “More teachers of color are in dire need in the schools of color that we have throughout our district and our nation,” William said. “There is a benefit to having people that look like you in teaching and administrative positions for students.”
- Teacher Development. Williams believes there is a greater need for more culturally responsive and emancipatory pedagogical training for teachers. “We have to support the teachers that we do have in being able to reach all students regardless of the students or the teacher’s background,” he said.
Williams shared a common complaint for the very long hours he spends in the classroom – though he admits he’s not alone. “I love it but I think I am in my school and classroom far longer than I am at home,” he said with a laugh. “But I’m sure that is true for all of us.”
The rewards, however, are worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
“After I graduated my first class of AVID students in 2014, we decided that we would have a barbecue at my mother’s house to celebrate all of them graduating,” he said. “What started off as an end-of-the-year celebration has become an annual tradition and each summer we have met at my mom’s house, caught up and cooked out.”
The tradition is about to hold its fourth annual gathering and has become a treasured moment each year for William.
“To me, there is no greater success as a teacher than to watch my students start as freshman, graduate, go off to school and/or work, and still make time for us to get together,” he said. “I was telling some of my current students that there is nothing like having your students go from students, to ex-students, to friends.”
If you know of a DCTA teacher that should be featured here, please email their name and contact information to Amber Wilson – DCTA Secretary.