Xceed Social Studies Teacher Reflects On His History
“When we see our students succeed after their time here, that is when we know we have done a good job,” Xceed Preparatory Academy Social Studies teacher L.D. Anderson said.
Anderson is now in his fourth year as a United States history teacher at the Weston campus. He spent earlier parts of his career in various other roles, including a significant amount of time in the U.S. military. Having personally spent time serving his country, his perspective on the subject of U.S. history is closer in heart and mind than most.
Anderson grew up and graduated from high school in Arkansas, going helmet first into college football and ROTC. After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he finished college, graduating from the University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and spent the next 15 years as an Army officer.
While Anderson may have first envisioned a career in the army, but looking back now, he can recall times as an Army officer that predicted his future as an educator.
“It seems throughout my career, I’ve always been propelled into a training or teaching role,” he said.
Anderson has always naturally embodied the role of mentor or guide. As an Army logistics officer, he was responsible for developing strategies and training newly appointed commissioned officers. In his free time, Anderson coached local football. He found he enjoyed being a leader.
After he departed from the Army, Anderson joined corporate America, serving as regional business manager of Kimberly Clark, traveling up the south and east coast. He enjoyed his task of hiring and training sales representatives, which made him realize his true passion: educating future generations.
On a quest to make a difference in the lives of our youth, Anderson transitioned into a role that had always been calling to him. After spending a few years teaching at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in Arkansas, he returned to sunny South Florida, which he fell in love with during his travels just a few years prior.
Anderson’s military experience and political science degree made his transition to teaching history at Xceed seamless and rewarding for students, parents and staff. According to Anderson, the part of history he enjoys teaching most is the American civil war era and the following period of reconstruction.
“That’s really where we began, as a nation, to become us as we know ourselves today. It’s a great opportunity to explain to the kids the foundation on which the U.S. was built, and how we overcame dire civil challenges to evolve into the diverse nation we are today,” he said.
“When you want to know dates in U.S. history, you can pick up a book and read. Therefore, I challenge students to understand the context of history and apply ideas and historical concepts to present day, including their own lives.”
Anderson believes students are impacted most by the lessons in his class that are taught and learned through conversation and collaboration.
His favorite part of Xceed is its innate ability to deliver instruction in small groups and one-on-one settings. With this, he strives to inspire growth and a mindset that will make a difference in the lives of students for decades to come.
Interested in learning more about the Xceed model of education? Visit www.xceedprep.org/xceeds-model-education-built-around-student-and-family-needs.