Humans of Rochester: Ms. Smith


Brice Boggan, Staff Writer

Teachers are an important part of every student’s school life. Whether the student shows interest in school or not, a teacher can change the way they view the school.

Ms. Emma Smith is in her first year of teaching, teaching at Reuther Middle School and Rochester High School. Smith is excited about teaching, and so far has gone well for her.

“I had really important and impactful teachers throughout my life,” said Ms. Smith, ” and thought maybe this is something I can see myself doing in the future.” Ms. Smith teaches 8th grade Language Arts, 10th grade U.S. History and 11th grade Applications of Composition. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was in elementary school. While growing up, Ms. Smith thought that school was fun and enjoyed going to school. She had a passion for learning, and she realized that teaching is something she saw herself doing as a career. Her teaching environment between middle school and high school is somewhat different. There are stricter rules in middle school compared to high school. For example, no gum or candy is allowed and students leave their phones in their lockers. Compared to high school, where the rules vary based on the teacher. This is because we are older and have more responsibilities and different expectations.

“I walked these halls and I’ve taken these classes,” said Ms Smith, “I know my students are capable of succeeding and graduating because I’ve done it” Smith is a Rochester alumni, graduating in 2017. She went to Hamlin Elementary and Reuther Middle School as well. She uses this to connect with her students because she graduated from both of the schools she teaches at. She is able to tell them that she has taken the class and that she has walked the same halls. She knows her students are capable of succeeding because of this. In high school, she played Varsity Volleyball and was a peer mentor. She also did student council, National Honor Society, and Social Studies Honor Society, where she was the secretary. She is able to connect to being a student during the pandemic, as she was in college at the time and was forced to learn virtually. She believes that in-person learning is a better learning environment than virtual. She, as well as other teachers, believe that because we were online for so long, there were things students did not get to experience. From a teacher’s perspective, things have been tricky now that the pandemic has declined.

“I have a lot of expectations for the second semester,” said Ms. Smith. Her first-semester teaching went well, and to her, it flew by. She has seen many students progress and learn. She has seen students become motivated to learn, which sparked her passion even more. She’s excited to start the next one. If it is anything like her first semester, it will be challenging, but fun.

Outside of school, Smith likes to watch crime documentaries as well as read mystery novels. In the past year, she started going to the gym and doing a gym routine. It’s been helpful to her and her mental health. Teaching can be a hard job, and this is her way of helping herself boost her mood and feel good.

“Be good and do good, that’s one of my principles,” said Ms. Smith. Smith believes that everyone should be able to advocate for themselves. She always tries to teach students and practices speaking out about what she needs and making sure her voice is heard. That’s how she got to where she is. If you don’t speak up no one will know what you’re thinking and what you need. She tells her students every day to be good and do good and to have the best day ever. To Smith being good and doing good mean two different things. Being good is knowing right or wrong and understanding the choices you make in life affect others and knowing what is good in the world and finding it. To do good is to be good and to put that energy out into the world. That’s a principle she lives by.