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Desire to Do Good

Kyle Smith studied communications and marketing in college. An athletic guy, he attended Northwestern University on a football scholarship. After college, Kyle entered the corporate world; first in marketing and then working for major tech companies. Despite his success in the field, however, Kyle realized something was missing. He says, “I was frustrated because I felt like I was not doing anything positive for the world.” Kyle wanted to make a difference, but he didn’t immediately know it would be through teaching.

Kyle’s parents were both teachers and he’d married a teacher. All traditionally trained in the field, they encouraged him to transition to a teaching career. His mother had searched for fast paths to teaching in Missouri and discovered American Board’s program. Kyle quickly enrolled. 

Making A Difference

Kyle was called to interview for a position in the Kansas City Public School District and was thrilled to hear that his interviewer was impressed with his route to certification. The interviewer understood American Board’s program to be thorough and effective. Ultimately, Kyle got the job!

Kyle admits that when transitioning from marketing work in the corporate world to a teaching position, of course he took a pay cut. On the other hand, he finally feels like he is doing good for the world, for his school district, and for his students.

In addition to teaching English, Kyle puts his field experience to work by teaching a digital marketing class and working with students on the yearbook. Through the digital marketing class, students learn real-world skills needed in any business.

Teacher of the Year

In his fourth year at the Kansas City Public School District, Kyle received a nomination for Teacher of the Year! It’s easy to understand why he would receive such an honor.

Kyle works tirelessly to get his literature students excited about reading. He has found success by selecting books that are being made into soon-to-be-released movies, such as Ready Player One and Before I Fall. After completing coursework, Kyle takes the class to see the movie. Best of all, if students receive a “B” grade or higher on their work, Kyle buys their movie tickets. He’s been able to do this for his students through the use of Donors Choose, which he says has helped fund many projects and activities for his students. Kyle was particularly excited about the success of Before I Fall in his class because it is such a long book, the students enjoyed it, and he even got the author to speak to his class.

Kyle goes above and beyond for his students whenever possible, ensuring that they feel supported in their education and in life.

Kyle’s class participates in movie night after completing their subject-area work.

Getting Certified Fast

Kyle completed his English certification in less than two months using American Board’s online program. He says, “the program provided me with a lot of background information that helped me become a successful teacher.”

Kyle chose American Board’s route because he said it looked like the one he could do and really use to teach. Additionally, American Board’s program was recommended by his mother, also a teacher. “Other programs seemed really lengthy, or like a scam. My biggest fear was completing a program and then learning it didn’t really work and I would have to go back to school.” In fact, thousands of Missouri teachers have earned their certification with American Board’s online program without going back to school or going into debt. You can read how another Missouri teacher and recent college graduate launched her teaching career with American Board here.

When working toward his English language arts certification, Kyle found American Board’s recommended reading list to be very helpful. He enjoyed becoming familiar with classic books he hadn’t read since high school, and the list helped shaped his curriculum. But of course he has been creative in selecting the books that his students would most enjoy.

Kyle notes that his family never saw him without a book during the time he spent getting certified. The love of learning must have been contagious because his son has since decided to become a teacher as well.

You Can Make A Difference Too

Kyle concludes, “I wish more people knew they could transition to teaching because good teachers are so needed. I’ve experienced that, often, younger people don’t have what it takes to stay in the field. People who have been through more and experienced the world should use [American Board] ABCTE and become teachers.” You can make a difference through teaching by bringing that real-world experience to the classroom.

Are you ready to make a difference through teaching? If so, visit to learn how you can get certified fast.

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