Jon Anderson is a Colorado educator at Eagle Rock School, a tuition-free alternative high school specifically designed to engage kids who haven’t had success in traditional learning environments.
Anderson’s interest in teaching is focused on building relationships with individual students, an emphasis that led him to a school with an untraditional learning structure: “I was interested in ways to teach that weren’t the lecture-style that I grew up with that didn’t actually work for me as a student,” he said. While Jon was studying to become a teacher at the University of Northern Colorado, a professor recommended Eagle Rock School because the unique structure would play to his strengths.
Anderson joined the Eagle Rock staff full time in 2002. “Eagle Rock allows me to focus on my students as individuals and get to know them on a deeper level; I get to hear their stories, their dreams and their goals. All of this means I get to build trust, and when we trust each other, all kinds of learning can happen.”
Anderson’s investment in his students led to a significant impact on one student in particular, Vidal Carrillo. The experiential nature of Eagle Rock’s curriculum, and Jon’s teaching especially, helped Vidal take ownership of his education for the first time in his life. “If I hadn’t gone to Eagle Rock and met Jon, I probably would have dropped out of high school,” Carrillo said. “If I stayed in Los Angeles, I may or may not be in jail right now. I would be a completely different person.”
Visit www.honored.org to read the powerful story of how Mr. Anderson changed one at-risk student’s life.