OPHS History teacher Victor Anderson’s journey into education

“I’ve always loved to teach”

He’s plunged into Poseidon’s pit. He’s constructed dozens of dwellings. He was even an attorney. But Victor Anderson believes his greatest adventure of them all is teaching AP United States History at Oak Park High School.

“I always loved being around kids, and I’ve always loved to teach,” Anderson said. “I look forward to teaching every day.”

Anderson was a teacher long before he started giving guidance in the classroom. He served as the coach for his son’s youth football team, and worked as a carpenter and an executive at a heavy highway construction cost company. In his free time, he gave lessons on a variety of other sports, such as skiing, scuba-diving and sailing.

Yet despite his affinity for instructing others, Anderson never imagined himself as an educator until his son mentioned it to him after one of his football practices.

“One day, he said, ‘Dad, you really like coaching football, have you ever thought about being a teacher?’” Anderson said. “I never thought about it at that time, and so I started thinking about it.”

Anderson was a lawyer at the time, but was keen to try a new occupation.

“I was ready for a change,” Anderson admitted. “The only difficult part was the money.”

Soon, Anderson was taking classes at California Lutheran University to apply for his teaching credentials. After four courses, he was accepted into the program, where he decided to commit his full time to the cause.

When he told his wife his plan, she insisted on becoming a teacher too. As Anderson earned his master’s, his wife tackled her credentials. At the same time, their son attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo on a football scholarship.

“All three of us were in college together,” Anderson joked.

By 37, Anderson had completed his requirements and was ready to become a teacher. He fell in love with the position instantly.
“[I became] much, much happier,” Anderson said. “That was the biggest surprise: why didn’t I do it years ago?”

When asked about what he loves about his job, Anderson answered almost immediately.

“I love my juniors,” Anderson said. “And I love APUSH.”