Instilling his love of literature, NP’s Mr. Rich Smith

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Instilling his love of literature, NP’s Mr. Rich Smith

Jackie Hanifin

NPHS English teacher, Mr. Rich Smith, guides a discussion during one of his classes.

Joe LeConey, Staff Writer

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TOWAMENCIN- Most teachers don’t get the opportunity see the students they taught in middle school grow up and go on with their lives as they enter high school.  Working here at the high school as well as at Pennbrook middle school as an English teacher, Smith often has the rare opportunity to teach students more than once, at different grade levels.

At an early point of his life Smith decided he wanted to do something involving literature; whether it involved writing it or teaching it.  Smith worked hard during his school years and  went on to pursue a college education at Arcadia University to major in literature. Soon after his college years, he got a teaching position as an English teacher, getting a chance to share his love with others.

“When I was 15 [years old] I got into the idea of teaching literature, and I tailored my life’s experiences to make it happen, volunteering and working to be the best teacher I could be,” said Smith.

Smith runs his classroom a little differently-  he begins class by giving his students a question written on the board and then gives them time to answer it followed by an open discussion. With this different style of teaching onewould think that students would have a difficult time getting used to it, but many students  who have  had Mr. Smith would tell you that they love his classroom climate and structure.

“Kids always say that I have a different style of teaching, but I just don’t know, I find it just to be an open discussion with my kids,” explaines Smith.

“It is fulfilling to see the growth in students both personally and academically; it’s good to know you can have a positive influence in someone’s life not only in school but outside of it as well. As a profession, teaching rarely leads itself to seeing the fruits of its labor, but the position I’m in [teaching some kids again in high school] gives it to me.”

Smith loves what he does as a teacher,  educating kids and showing his love for literature. He does not like to be considered as a “teacher.” Being categorized into something is just not what Smith wants; he doesn’t want to be thought of as the teacher, he wants people just to know him as “Mr. Smith.”