by Claire Miller
Kyle Henson has quite the commute to school.
For the last two years, he has driven from his home in Griffin, Ga., to Atlanta three days a week to take classes at the College of Education – about 60 miles roundtrip.
But he’s happy to do it. He knows that it takes dedication to go back to school after spending 26 years in the information technology industry, and he knows he can make a difference in a classroom.
It wasn’t a difficult decision to change careers – Henson has worked as a coach, a scoutmaster and is a proud parent who loves working with kids – but he did have to think about which area of education he wanted to focus on.
“I kept asking myself, where can I do the most good?” Henson said. “I talked to some of my friends who are educators, and it kept coming back to middle school. That’s an important time in a child’s life, and they have to understand that education is so crucial.”
During his time in the COE, Henson worked his way to the top of his class and graduated this May with a bachelor’s degree in middle level education. He also received the Roy M. Hall Award, an honor given annually by the college to the senior with the highest scholastic average in teacher education courses.
“It’s humbling,” he said. “I didn’t even know there was such an award. I worked very hard and I’m pleasantly surprised by this honor.”
The award, named for the first dean of the college, truly honors all the work Henson put into his classes and student teaching assignments. But he also credits his professors and fellow COE students for their help in shaping his ideas about education.
“It’s a good feeling to know that you can sit down and talk with them about problems in student teaching, and have someone there as a sounding board,” he said. “It’s been a great experience.”
After graduation, Henson hopes to find a job in a rural school district. But more importantly, he wants to keep in mind the instructional methods and educational concepts he learned in his classes.
“I’m hoping that I can apply the concepts and theories that we’ve learned to my classroom,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed seeing what a classroom can be and I want to realize its potential.”
For more information about the middle level education program, visit http://msit.gsu.edu/3289.html.