Thomson Middle School, a Professional Development School partner with Augusta State University, is pleased to announce that Ken Hayes, apprentice teacher, has been named the 2004 ASU Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Middle Grades Education.
After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in textile science from Clemson University, Mr. Hayes worked as a technical superintendent, plant manager, vice president, and a member of the board of directors of Mayfair Mills for over 30 years. It seems teaching, though, was already in his blood. While in college, he even worked as a graduate teaching assistant.
Apprentice teacher Ken Hayes works with students on math problems in Anita Cummings' classroom.
Mr. Hayes writes in his ASU electronic portfolio that students need instruction in all of the academic subjects in order to be successful in a changing world. As a member of the business community, his words ring clear with students and faculty members alike. Alongside ASU master teacher Anita Cummings, Mr. Hayes says he wants to make learning fun and exciting so that students establish good study habits. Most important, Mr. Hayes writes in his portfolio, is helping pupils evaluate his or her own specific talents.
"A good teacher can accomplish this goal while helping the student accept the fact that each student has diverse talents. The student must realize that he or she is no less important than other students with different talents. My career as a teacher will be fulfilling if I can help students fully develop their talents and appreciate their own uniqueness."
As a PDS partner, TMS is one of a select few area schools which offers its classrooms, students, and teachers' expertise and support for pre-service and Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (TAPP) educators. TMS is honored to have been a PDS partner since the program's inception.
ASU students are regularly assigned to work with TMS master teachers for rotations lasting from one week to five during laboratory assignments. Later, as the ASU students approach graduation, they are often assigned to a TMS master teacher who serves as a mentor and coach for the final fifteen weeks of the ASU student's collegiate career in what is known as apprenticeship. The apprentice assumes the role of a full-fledged teacher, planning, implementing, and evaluating lessons, all while under the guidance of a master teacher.
Many of these apprentice teachers find their way back to TMS as full-time and professionally certified instructors. One excellent example is Katie Bryant, currently a seventh grade mathematics teacher, who completed her lab experiences and apprenticeship with master teacher Anita Davis last fall. It seems TMS attracts the best too. Mrs. Bryant was the 2003 ASU Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Middle Grades Education.
At TMS, the faculty and administration hope the trend continues. Several ASU students begin their laboratory rotations next week with experienced master teachers. Perhaps among them is the next award winner.