Thanks to Teachers: Alana Anderson

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Thanks to Teachers: Alana Anderson

In Transylvania County, ESL teacher Alana Anderson spends her share of time on the road, traveling to several different schools in the county. Now, she's at home, but still teaching her students what they need to succeed.

It didn’t take long for ten-year-old David to solve the equations his teacher, Alana Anderson gave him.

"We do it by, like, let's say, playing games, almost. Like playing games, finding clues out, and putting it all together," says the Pisgah Forest Elementary School fifth-grader.

But, Anderson says the formula for helping all of her students during the Pandemic is a little more challenging.

David is one of more than 130 English as Second Language students in Transylvania County.

Anderson says top priority was getting many of her kids' internet access.

"We just have so many kids in so many places at different levels. We've kind of had to think about how do we serve the basic needs of our students before we get up to the learning?"

While there’s nothing easy about teaching in these challenging times, 'easy' was not in Anderson's blood.

"My grandmother is a teacher, and she actually retired at 84," says Anderson when asked if she always wanted to be a teacher.

But teaching with passion is.

"She taught elementary school forever and is like a really big role model in my life, and she would come home and tell me all these stories about how she changed the world, in her school," recalls Anderson about her grandmother.

Anderson, a teacher for 12 years, 4 in Transylvania County, did her student teaching in Bolivia, where her love for teaching ESL students was born

"Having a Spanish language base is really fun. I feel like I get to learn my Spanish with my students, like continuing to grow all the time," Anderson explains.

Anderson points out many of her students have a native language other than Spanish, adding to the multicultural atmosphere she loves.