Trevor Anderson-Salo is no stranger to the boarding school world. “I grew up at Deerfield Academy, where my parents taught. I loved the community on campus,” he shared. “When I became a teacher, I knew I wanted to find a similar environment.” Anderson-Salo joined Trinity-Pawling’s Modern Language Department in 2018 as a Mandarin teacher. It’s his connection to Chinese culture and his love for the language, he says, that inspired him to teach.
“My sisters are adopted from China. Growing up, my parents encouraged us to learn about Chinese culture,” Anderson-Salo explained. As a student at Deerfield, he started out studying French, but picked up Chinese in his junior year. “I just loved the language!” In his gap year between high school and college, Anderson-Salo taught English while living in Huairou, China, a small suburb north of Beijing. “By the end of that program, my interest in the language really solidified,” he shared.
Shortly thereafter, Anderson-Salo enrolled at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) — a teacher’s college — where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in education and Chinese. “While studying at NTNU, I tried out a few different part-time jobs, translating and tutoring,” he shared. “But teaching was where I felt most at home.”
Now in his second year at Trinity-Pawling, Anderson-Salo’s love for the language and teaching continues to grow. “The most rewarding part of teaching a foreign language is watching the interactions between my students,” he explained. “I limit English in my classroom, so they have to find ways to share their humor and stories in Chinese. I love seeing their progress and enthusiasm as they genuinely enjoy using the language.”
In addition to his teaching responsibilities on campus, Anderson-Salo also serves as the International Student Coordinator, facilitating communication with families overseas. “I really enjoy the role. It allows me to build a support system for both the parents and the students. They can express their concerns and questions to me without worrying about a language barrier.” Outside of the classroom, Anderson-Salo certainly stays busy — coaching Third Soccer and advising four clubs (International Student Club, Anime Club, Dungeons and Dragons Club, and Chess Club). “And yes, we play Chinese chess too!”
With the new school year underway, Anderson-Salo is especially grateful to be a part the Trinity-Pawling community. “The students are great…inquisitive and eager to learn. My fellow faculty members are supportive and collaborative,” he concluded. “It’s just a fantastic place to live and work.”
by Emma Christiantelli
Photo by Andrew Zhang ’20 (student photographer)