TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Elliott M. Anderson encourages his students to find their courage

Published 4:47 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

Elliott M. Anderson is a teacher at Warren Central Junior High School. Anderson has taught for 20 years in various capacities, but mostly as a math teacher.

Anderson believes educators are responsible for guiding, developing, and encouraging students to become their best selves.

Anderson is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year. The Chamber will announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the Chamber Luncheon in February. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

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“I encourage my students to develop their courage to take on the challenges that they find in math,” explained Anderson. “As students overcome their fear of the unknown, their ability to strive multiplies their knowledge and desire to go further in their learning.”

When asked how he ensures his students are connected to real-world learning and the world around them, Anderson said math is used daily in many ways, from cooking to taxes. Teaching these life skills, he said, will help students become productive members of society.

“Student engagement and achievement go hand-in-hand,” Anderson explained.

He said that one year the grade levels implemented a challenge among the math classes. The highest class average would win a pizza party and a day free of classwork.

“The students worked together to achieve the goal and were actively engaged in winning. In doing so, their test scores improved and resulted in the class earning a 93% class proficiency on the Algebra 1 test.”

When asked to relate his most moving educational experience, Anderson said, “I had a young colleague approach me and asked if I remembered him. He said I had taught him in eighth grade. It is an amazing sense of pride for a former student to now be one of my colleagues.”

Anderson said he teaches because he loves to learn and wants to instill that love in others.