Doctorate helps Orion High School teacher prepare students

Ben Jones
Orion High School

One teacher in the Orion school district stands out from her colleagues. That teacher is Dr. Linda Anderson, who teaches Spanish at Orion High School.

What makes her stand out is that she has a doctoral degree, which is a degree that high school teachers rarely get. Most interestingly, she continues to teach Spanish at Orion High School.

Dr. Anderson attended Illinois State University to further her education for her doctoral degree. She was able to take most of her classes at the Graduate Center, which is located on the Augustana College campus in Rock Island.

In order for Dr. Anderson to get her doctoral degree, she had to go through 75 more semester hours than needed for a master’s degree. She also had to pass the doctoral prelims, which consisted of a week of testing and writing four different papers. Then she had to present her ideas for dissertation programs to a committee before she was able to continue her research and write her dissertation.

The reason she continued her education to get a doctoral degree is because “the state of Illinois mandates that teachers in Illinois engage in continuing educational training in the form of higher education and/or continuing professional development units (CPDUs).” She had chosen to do both for her education plans, and she already had a master’s degree.

“Being engaged in a doctoral program in education helps one currently in the field be better informed to help students pursue their own educational aspirations,” Dr. Anderson stated about how her doctoral degree has made a difference in her teaching career.

Dr. Anderson has also received other degrees in education. She has a master’s degree in Spanish and an undergraduate degree in Latin American studies, Spanish, social sciences and education. And even though she has received plenty of education, she is considering the possibility of going back to continue her mandated ongoing education hours for other degrees.

She highly recommended other teachers get their doctoral degrees if it was something they were interested in pursuing and completing. A piece of advice that she offers other teachers is to be ready for some changes in their daily schedules, including how they balance their activities and time.

For her, the benefits include  an enhanced educational perception and experience, which outweigh by far the sacrifices that she had to make in order to pursue her educational desires.

There are some places where Dr. Anderson has studied while in college.

“I studied in Mexico and Spain during college,” she said. “I have also taught summer school in Spain at La Universidad Complutense de Madrid.”

Dr. Anderson has also taught in an exchange program in Mexico at the Universidad Veracruzana, during her master’s degree program. All of the courses she taught were completely in Spanish. She has been teaching here in Orion since 1985.

Even though many teachers might accept jobs at colleges or universities when they receive their doctoral degrees, the reason that Dr. Anderson stays at Orion High School is that she likes the age group that she is able to interact with and very much respects their work ethic. She enjoys teaching and working with her students.

She also believes in the saying, “If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.”