by: Shewit Woldu
Name: Kenneth Smith
Department: Social Studies
Education: Undergrad-Hampton University
Grad School- College of William and Mary
Hobbies: Reading Playing Football and Racquetball
The teacher with a gray sweater that reads MBHS in red letters keeps a smile on his face while he sits in his chair talking to one of his students in his classroom after school.
Kenneth Smith, a NSL government and studio production teacher at Montgomery Blair High School, smiles because he loves teaching. " I have a passion for teaching," said Smith sincerely. "God led me into teaching."
Smith's first career choice was not teaching, but working as a research assistant in Brooklyn. He says he hated his job as a research assistant. " I spent most of my time behind a computer and there was no interaction with people," recalled Smith.
Smith got involved with teaching when he started to volunteer as a teacher at an alternative high school in lower Manhattan. He taught students who lived difficult lives. One of his students was homeless and lived on the subway. He started to connect with the students and spend time with them. "I fell in love with them," he said with gravity. Spending time with the students sparked his interest for teaching so he became a full time teacher.
Smith enjoys teaching and thinks bringing out the potential in his students is important. "I don't accept failure, so they should not accept failure," said Smith with force. He says he sets a comfortable environment for his students and allows them to make mistakes so they can learn from their mistakes and grow as a student.
One of Smith's fondest memories was seeing a former student fulfill his dream of becoming a chef, at Marriott Hotel. When Smith saw that his former student fulfilled his dream, he was overwhelmed with joy. " It was one of the best feelings I ever had," Smith said smiling when remembering the event.
His wife plays a major role in Smith's life. For Smith, it was not love at first sight. " I thought she was stuck up and conceited," Smith laughs. He figured soon that his impression of her was wrong.
After dating her, he proposed to her by playing three card molly with bowls instead of cards. He hid the engagement ring under the bowl.
Overall, teaching has given Smith the life he wants. If he was given one thing to do in his life Smith said, "I think I would teach."