Taylor says "love of teaching" should be the motivating factor for education majors

Dr. Kenneth Taylor

Please briefly introduce yourself and your background in education.
My name is Kenneth Taylor. I am currently the director of Teacher Education Experiences and Director of Health, Education, and Social Sustainability graduate programs. I have been at Henderson 23 years. Before coming to Henderson, I was a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher and an assistant principal at Fairhope Middle School in Fairhope, Alabama.

Please share something about you that most people don’t know.
One of my favorite sounds in the world is the sound of tennis shoes on a basketball court. I coached middle school basketball!

What or who inspires you, and why?
My faith, family and the students that I have taught during the past 32 years inspire me. Many members of my family have stressed the importance of faith as I have progressed during my career as a teacher and administrator. Several of those middle school students I taught are now building principals and classroom teachers. I have taught undergraduate and graduate students in education at Henderson for 23 years. To see my former students now working as college faculty members, superintendents, assistant superintendents, school principals and classroom teachers is truly remarkable because I know they are making an impact on the lives of students on a daily basis.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about being an education professor?
Making strong connections between content in textbooks and real experience in K-12 schools.

Why should a student choose Henderson State to pursue his or her education degree?
Henderson has a great and long-standing reputation in preparing students to be successful classroom teachers, building and district level administrators.

What advice would you give to students aspiring to major in education?
“Are you willing to teach students for free?” is the advice I would give those aspiring to major in education. Money would not be the motivating factor in deciding to become a teacher. The love of teaching academic content would inspire individuals to teach.

How can students make the most of their college experience at Henderson?
By participating in organizations that will help them grow personally and professionally.

What strategies/technology do you use to engage students in your classes?
I try to use real life experiences, realistic scenarios, and technology to engage my students in the classroom.

What are some current trends or developments in your field that students should be aware of?
Within a couple of years, all education majors will have to complete a yearlong teacher residency (internship).

Any other thoughts?
"Success is uncommon and not to be enjoyed by common man" is a quote that I share with my students to encourage them to take the necessary steps to be successful.