The FC family welcomed many new members this year, including Kyle Grant Dodson: freshman and junior English teacher, and high school bible teacher.
Dodson was born and raised in Fresno, California, along with his older sister Jessica. Fresno was where Dodson discovered his love for teaching, English and theater. He graduated from Buchannan High School, class of ?06, where he met his high school sweetheart; they have now been married for 1 year and 3 months.
After high school, Dodson went to Fresno State University, and graduated with a major in English Education and an emphasis in theater.
Growing up, Dodson always knew he wanted to be an English teacher, and was inspired to pursue that dream by past experiences in the classroom.
“I had a couple of really awesome teachers that cared about me as a person and as a student,” Dodson said, “But then, I also had a couple of really awful teachers, especially in English, and I decided I didn’t want students to have to sit through crappy English teachers that make other kids have to sit through that, and that’s why I decided I wanted to be an English teacher and be better than those other crappy English teachers that I had.”
He was taught memorable lessons by two inspiring teachers in particular that later helped shape him into the teacher he is today.
“I had a couple of really awesome teachers, Karen Boon was an English teacher of mine in high school as well as my drama teacher Brent Mojer,” Dodson said. “The two of them really taught me that teaching wasn’t just about the subject, it was about the connection and making students feel respected and making them feel like they are a part of something special.”
With it’s small school setting, FC has turned out to be the place to make that happen. Dodson is very grateful for the opportunity.
“It was actually a crazy story, I was in the market, I was looking for a teaching position and a former teacher here, Mrs. Kaiser, had contacted me and said that if I was still looking, FC would be a great opportunity for me,” Dodson said. “I sort of always had that in the back of my mind and then one day FC just called me up out of the blue for an English position and it just sort of fell into place. It was all part of God’s plan.”
Being around a public school setting his whole life made the transition to FC very rewarding, sharing his favorite characteristics about the school.
“The connection that the students can have with the teachers at public schools is sort of like business,” Dodson said. “But already in my second week here you can really tell that there is a mutual admiration between the staff and the students, and that there is really an actual relationship being built between the teachers and the students that you don’t get anywhere else. That is one of the first reasons why I went into teaching was to make sure that I can connect with students and help them grow into themselves.”
Although Dodson loves English and has a passion for it, a hobby that has also been tremendous part of his life is theater. He participated in theater all throughout high school and hopes to have it be a part of his future career goals.
“In the future, I would like to be Drama teacher or I think it would be awesome to start trying to get some sort of dramatic literature course open,” Dodson said. “Some sort of position where I?m teaching English, but all we are doing is just reading plays and talking about stripped writing, theater history. I think it would really be an awesome opportunity to blend my two loves of English and drama together.”
Junior Maddie Luginbill, enjoys her English class with Dodson because of his energetic teaching style.
“I have Mr. Dodson for English,” Luginbill said. “I really like him. He’s very exciting and he keeps me really focused on class because he’s so energetic, so I don’t get bored.”
Alexis Cowan, ’16, enjoys the fact that Dodson is a younger teacher and the way he communicates with his students in the classroom.
“I think he has a younger, youthful appearance that is very calming, and not as assertive, but he still gets the message through,” Cowan said. “He is very good at reading, whenever he reads it just feels like hes talking.”
This writer can be reached via twitter: @ashhasthescoop. Follow The Feather via twitter: @thefeather.
For more features, read Aug. 21 article: Brother to Brother program offers mentorship, togetherness..