If you walk into the school and take the hallways all the way to the back, you will find Brad Anderson’s classroom. The windowless room’s walls are plastered with sports posters from years past and present. At the front of the room, past all of the desks, lay gladiator shields of all different colors and designs and maps sprawled out on table tops.
For years, Anderson’s room has been home to World History classes, epic speeches, and beyond unique lesson plans.
But next year, for the first time, it will be home to Advanced Placement classes. Anderson is excited for the switch to AP World after his many years of teaching other classes.
“I was approached by the department to teach [AP World History] and take over as the torch was being passed, so I was happy to take on the challenge; I think that this World History course will challenge me as an educator [as well],” Anderson said. “I hope to challenge the AP students [in similar ways] that I challenge my wrestlers in the wrestling room or my own children.”
According to Anderson, this was the result of the usual moving of positions that happens yearly for each department. He plans to continue his unique style of teaching as well.
“I try to implement a lot of student interaction, opportunities for engagement, competition, and games,” Anderson said. “[But I also] want to get outside as much as I can, but obviously not as much as I will in my regular world classes. But certainly, I look forward to challenging students and hopefully bringing that engagement aspect that I love about teaching.
Many of the things that Anderson implements have never been seen before throughout the halls of FHC. A normal day for the students in his classes does not look like a normal school day. They spend their hour outside, building small villages in the woods nestled in between the middle and high school. According to Anderson, they work with all different areas of history. This year in the villages, a plague went out and “killed” many people, villages were raided, and tribes rivaled and stole from each other. But the big ideas that influenced all of those were collaborative learning, trade, and cooperation.
Anderson plans to try to incorporate as many of these elements as he can into his AP World History class, but it could be a challenge.
“The book will be a backbone because AP World is way more content heavy, and we are going to have to be reading that book and responsible for the content, and obviously the different essays that you have to write and be well versed in,” Anderson said. “But, why can’t we write out in the woods? Why can’t we read in the woods? Why can’t we engage and do some of these activities, albeit in a more condensed version than my regular world classes, where we can move more fluidly?”
This being his first year with the new AP curriculum, Anderson said there will be a learning curve to implementing his style, but he still has the same ideas on what he wants to achieve throughout the year and coming years.
“At the end of the year, I want students to walk out of my class having a positive experience, with the ability to improvise, adapt and overcome,” Anderson said.