Whether teaching AP Psychology or AP World History, KTVA’s Teacher of the Week wants her students to take away some valuable life lessons.
“I hope they have the ability to critically look at their world and question the things that they see,” said Mischell Anderson. “I hope they believe in themselves as lifelong learners, as people who can contribute to the world. And I also hope they have a little more understanding and tolerance for all of the people that live on the planet with us.”
Anderson improved her understanding of the world’s diverse peoples by traveling to numerous countries. Her experiences have been a valuable asset in her Dimond High School classroom.
“I enjoy learning about cultures and helping kids understand people in the world are a lot more similar than they are different from each other,” she explained.
Life lessons are only part of the equation. Her students still have to have a firm grasp of the subject matter. To help keep them focused, Anderson limits her lecturing. She leaves the rest up to them.
“I like to get kids working with documents, primary sources, with literature, different pieces of writing and also discussing things with each other and figuring out how things work themselves, instead of me telling them how to do it,” she said.
If students need any assistance along the way, Anderson is there to steer them in the right direction and offer encouragement.
“She’s a really hard working teacher,” explained senior Damien Young. “She works so hard to make sure every student in her classroom knows what they should be learning and that every student in her classroom feels comfortable to ask questions.”
Students like Young said Anderson’s hardworking attitude never falters.
“She’s always smiling,” said senior Anthony Parker. “Even if she’s having a bad day you feel like she’s having a good day. You wouldn’t even know the difference.”
Anderson has 21 years of experience under her belt. The last 14 years have been in Anchorage. The seven years prior she taught in California.
Along with her duties at Dimond High School, Anderson teaches classes with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. In the summer, she teaches other middle and high school teachers how they can bring historical information into the classroom.
This year, for the first time, Anderson will be one of the educators that will help to grade the 200,000 AP Psychology tests taken by students throughout the nation.