Bringing love and passion to the classroom
Teachers work so hard, and they often leave a lasting impression on their students. This sentiment rings true for Mrs. Smith, seventh grade reading teacher at Boston.
Smith has been teaching for over 15 years. Three of those years were in elementary schools, while the last 12 were in the Boston Middle School English department.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher. I even found an old paper from kindergarten where it asked us what we would like to do when we were older, and being a teacher was the number one thing,” Smith said.
Smith first decided to become a teacher because she had always found school to be an interesting place. She liked her teachers and liked to learn new things in nearly every subject. She knew that she would make a good teacher when she began to struggle in math in middle and high school. She realized then that all of the positive things she could do for students, not just the ones that do well, but for the ones that have a hard time in school. She could understand the frustration when trying her best and not succeeding the way that she had hoped she would. She knew that she could work with those students and understand how they were feeling.
“By taking these experiences, both the positive and negative, I knew teaching was what I was meant to do in order to give back,” Smith said.
Many role models helped Smith become the encouraging teacher that she is, including Mr. Paul Hernandez, her high school Creative Writing teacher. As her favorite teacher, he inspired her to step out of her comfort zone and push herself in whatever she was creating.
“My fondest memory was when he assigned me a biography writing assignment, and it was not something that I was fond of writing. I struggled a long time and finally created a fictional story about a character that I was working on because I didn’t want him to think that I just didn’t do the assignment out of laziness. I was shocked when he looked at my paper and accepted it even though it was not what was assigned. He understood that it was not something that I exceeded in, and allowed me to work on my strengths. I will never forget that, and I try to bring that ‘open-mindedness’ into my own classroom,” Smith said.
Every teacher develops his or her own teaching style over the years, and Mrs. Smith is no exception. She works with each student separately on their work and provides extra help where it is needed. She tries everything in her power to make her students’ learning environments fun while also making sure they learn what they need to.
Students are not the only people who enjoy having Smith at Boston. Many teachers have expressed that she has made Boston better and more enjoyable.
“Bethany Smith has done so much for this school. Students and teachers alike find her so positive and enjoyable to be around. She definitely makes Boston a better place,” Mrs Carter, Boston principal, said.
Another way Smith is hoping to improve her classroom is by posting her “classroom wish list.” Her wish list includes more books for each classroom, online softwares, and even a 3D printer to put in the library for the students to use.
Outside of the classroom, Smith spends a lot of time with her two boys and husband at home, and she enjoys camping. She makes almost all of the jewelry that she wears by hand, a hobby that she loves and started about two years ago. She also spends time taking classes for continuing her licensure and has just enrolled in a course called “Genius Hour,” which she hopes to use soon to encourage innovation and creativity in the classroom.
Smith has been such an inspirational teacher who has pushed herself to be the best teacher she can possibly be. Throughout her many years of teaching, she has created a home and family here in La Porte, and she will continue to build her family with each new student she meets.