Marshall Smith is a fifteen year educator, coach and now he’s 9 On Your Side’s STEM Teacher of the month. He says his general idea of teaching is figuring out what students want to learn and helping then figure out a way to learn it.
Smith teaches engineering at White Oak High School and the classes are part of a program that’s nationally accredited. The program is one of only two schools in Eastern Carolina to hold that distinction.
He says he prepares his students for real world experiences. “The way the real world works, nobody’s ever going to give you a worksheet and say work out this problem nobody’s ever going to say here’s a quadratic equation figure out the zeros. What they will do is say this projectile is going to be flying and you throw a ball, how far is it going to go how high did it go,” he said.
When his students graduate, they’re already earning college credit and many we talked to say Smith has helped them shape their future. Julien Fogel is heading off to college this fall and will major in aerospace engineering. Fogel says it’s a benefit to have a teacher that wants to teach you, but he’s not going to hold your hand the whole way through and thinks that teaching style will help prepare him for college.
Turning out successful students like Fogel and his classmates… is something smith says makes his job worthwhile, he explains, “ education has to be fun I think that every day you come in my classroom, you have to go out in a better mood than when you came in, because then you want to come back.”
It’s that attitude that has earned Marshall Smith our STEM Teacher of the Month award.