Teacher in the Spotlight
By Rachel Kelly
Maggie Anderson, Resource Teacher Gig Harbor High School
Maggie Anderson has been a resource teacher for 22 years, 16 years of which have been spent at Gig Harbor High School. As a resource teacher, she works with students who have health or learning disabilities who qualify for assistance in reading, language and math. She also works with students who have social, emotional or behavioral needs.
Her department consists of five teachers: four resource teachers and one self-contained special education teacher who works in the special education classroom. As a resource teacher, Maggie has the opportunity to work with students throughout their high school career. This allows her to know each student and their families quite well. That close connection is one of her favorite aspects of being a resource teacher, as it allows her to tie in all of their background experience to bring about teachable moments.
“Seeing those moments when something clicks for a student, and then understanding those things that they’ve been struggling with—all of this and more are exactly what I do,” says Maggie. She loves working with the people at Gig Harbor High School; from the teachers and paraeducators in her department to the students and families, she considers herself lucky.
As a teacher, Maggie is a role model for her students, and if she were to choose one thing to pass on to her students, it would be to “Own it!”
“When you do something that deserves recognition, you should absolutely own that!” she says. “But, when you make a mistake or screw up, you have to own that too. … Not only is it okay (and normal) to make mistakes, but taking responsibility can help build responsibility and trust with others.”
When Maggie Anderson isn’t at school (though as a teacher her hours can often be longer than what people would think), she loves to spend time with her family. Her husband Adam is a librarian at Minter Creek Elementary. Her son Cooper is a junior at GHHS. Her stepsons Charlie and James are a freshman at SAMI and a senior at IDEA, respectively. Her oldest stepson graduated from SOTA and works at the Glass Museum. When they all have a chance to be together, they often play board games, watch movies, or play with the dogs.
We are lucky to have teachers such as Maggie to watch over our students and help them as they overcome their personal struggles so that they can eventually find their place to thrive in the greater world.