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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Calvin Anderson has used his diverse experience to become the best teacher and person he can be

A picture of Mr. Anderson on a trip, which is something he hopes to do more of.

Teacher Cal Anderson has surprisingly taught a wide array of subjects, along with coaching sports, and assisting with clubs. 

I’ve taught for 31 years, 29 here [at Forest Hills Central],” Anderson said. “I teach all the economic classes, I’ve taught US History, I’ve taught civics, and one time I taught government.”

Along with economics, US History, civics, and government, Cal has taught much more. This includes sociology, interpersonal relations, intro to business, multiple marketing classes, computer applications, and more courses on top of that. Compared to most teachers, he has the advantage of having specialized in this wide, varying variety of subjects. He assisted in coaching wrestling and basketball, and he was a leader for the DECA organization for many years. In his time teaching, at FHC and previously in Colorado, he has seen many accomplishments, made friends, and found what he truly loves to do. 

Anderson started teaching with an urge to help others, and that is what continues to push him to this day. One thing he has been very fond of participating in was DECA. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. They do competitions, and Anderson was a helper for many years in the club. 

Some of his favorite memories from his entire teaching career are from DECA. The students of DECA get involved with business and marketing experience in a competitive situation. One of the most exciting times of his career is when around 15 of his students qualified for the national competition. 

“They were just a fun group of students,” he commented. “We traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the national competition. The students did very well, it was just a very fun time. I totally love working with students.”

Anderson hasn’t been a part of DECA for a while now, but it is definitely something that he misses. He participated in it for 20 years. The time commitment was tough, and he decided to step back to give himself time. Still, the student interaction and growth that he got with the group is not something that can be replicated. 

“It allows students to experience an education outside of the classroom and gives them a glimpse of what the world of work is like and what the world of business is like,” Anderson described. “It allowed them to take risks because it was competitive, and they learned a lot even if they weren’t ‘winners’. I think almost every student I ever had enjoyed the experience and learned something from it.”  

Things such as DECA and even everyday teaching have taught him very valuable lessons. One is that everybody has different challenges that they have to overcome in different ways. He’s discovered that students learn in different ways and how to read learning situations to help and adapt to the learners of the class. Although he has changed as a person from his early years till now, it has only been signs of growth. His once ambitious outlook on teaching and attempts to get it right has transformed into planned and organized teaching experiences and great results from the students. 

He has also learned things from his experience as a coach. Anderson was a wrestling coach for 12 years, at the middle school and high school levels. He also coached one year of middle school basketball. Along with coaching, he has followed with his kids’ sports as well. In the 1990s, Anderson’s team qualified for 2 divisions of the state finals. The realization of going to the elite top eight of the state and watching the wrestlers win state championships was one of his proudest moments. The victory was one of the most memorable for a coach to see their athletes succeed. 

[Coaching] forced me to realize that I can’t want my students or my athletes to win more than they want themselves to. It was frustrating, it can be frustrating because I’m a very competitive person, so it was a fun challenge to be able to motivate my athletes to work hard as much as I wanted them to. Sometimes that went well, and sometimes it didn’t.

— Anderson

Throughout his time teaching, he has gotten close with many fellow teachers and has learned great lessons from each of them. They give him advice when he needs it, and are just people to talk with who may be in similar situations. 

“I had a lot of funny moments with old colleagues who have since retired or moved on to teach in other places and other things,” Anderson commented. 

English teacher Ken George is one of the teachers who have been close with Anderson. For many years, they have spent their Friday nights under the lights of the football field together. They assist with moving the flags between plays.

“At the football games, across the field, there are four guys who work and we hold the big stick that has the number on it for first down,” George explained. “For a lot of years, me and Cal have spent our Fridays together doing that.” 

The two have spent a lot of time together in what they call the chain gang over the years. They talk about things at school and during the game. It’s something that has brought them closer in a way that is not completely about teaching. They talk about a variety of things including school and family things. 

“One of the highlights with Cal is getting together with Cal on the side of the football field and being in the chain gang, and talking about the game but more importantly our lives,” George said.  

Cal makes it very important to connect with his students. He pushes them while still allowing them to be themselves and grow how they need to. As an economics teacher, in previous years he has got to teach most of each grade during their freshman year, leaving lasting impacts on many. 

Sophomore Lindsey Fortino is one of many of those students. She had him for economics during her freshman year, and she still has funny memories that she will never forget. 

“[Some of my favorite memories] from econ were when he let me and Kate [Dugan] teach a lesson even though we had no clue what we were talking about,” Lindsey listed. “Or, on the first day of school when we crawled out the window.”

Although Lindsey only had Anderson as a teacher for one semester, she still noticed his effect on the school. She still notices his welcoming smile and attitude when in the halls, or anywhere in the school. 

“He is always super funny and says hi to everyone in the halls,” Lindsey described. “He is very energetic and always encourages us to put 110 percent effort into school while making the class enjoyable.”

Luckily, Cal hasn’t had many awful experiences in his teaching career. Although things have happened that never quite aligned with what he expected, nothing had ever struck him as detrimental. He has worked through difficulties and blocked out the negatives to become the best that he can be. 

“I’ve always taken the approach that I’m going to approach something and do the best I can with it, and I tend to be the type of person who looks for the positives. 

With such a long time teaching here, Anderson has learned many things, discovered new things, and left impacts on hundreds of kids he has taught. He will take a break after retiring, to relax, travel, and catch up on all the things he missed on doing while teaching. Then, he may continue his teaching career to a second education level of teaching. No matter how he spends his time after, he will be missed by the fellow teachers and students he has impacted. 

‘I’m going to miss all the positive interactions in the classroom,” Cal said. “I’m going to miss all the amazing moments of life that young people have, but I don’t think I’ll be gone for long.”

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About the Contributor
Ellerie Knowles
Ellerie Knowles, Copy Editor
Ellerie Knowles is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. She is on the FHCVDT and dances outside of school as well. In her free time, she likes to read books, go to the beach, and hang out with her dog Mocha. She joined the Writing for Publication class her freshman year and decided to continue with her writing adventure into her next years of high school. She loves traveling, and her favorite place she has traveled to that she remembers is Florida—even though it's basic. One other random fact about her is that she loves sunsets and has made her mom practically stop the car just to take a picture of it.  Favorite Color: Blue (all shades) Favorite food: Grapes One place she wants to travel to: Greece (coast) Favorite scent: Anything tropical or lavender

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