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May 27, 2020

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Ada Teacher Feature: Was Mrs. Smittle your kindergarten teacher?

"Sometimes I even learn from my students!"

By Darlene Bowers
Welcome to the Ada Icon’s “Ada Teacher Feature.” Here we share thoughts and insights from local teachers who lift up and inspire our students. Let us lift up and inspire these educators as well. Today we meet Kim Smittle.

Forensic scientist? Baker? Culinary artist? How about a teaching career? Kim Smittle has been working 31 years providing classroom experiences that make a lasting impression with her students.

What grade do you teach?

Tell us about your extracurricular activities.
I am very involved with the music department.

Where are you from and where did you graduate from college?
I graduated from North Baltimore High School. I earned my BA undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern University. I hold a master's degree from Bowling Green State University.

How long have you taught?
This is my 31st year teaching.

Why are you a teacher?
I became a teacher because I love children and wanted to help them learn.  I really love teaching students to read and write.  These two areas are my passion.

What motivates you?
I am motivated by the smiles and true joy seen on my student's faces when they practice something so hard and they finally accomplish that goal.

What’s the best thing students can do for you
I would like my students to always try to do their best. I always say, "If I don't teach you anything else in Kindergarten, I hope I teach you to do your best work!"

What’s the best thing parents and caregivers can do for you?
Allow their children to do things for themselves...teach them independence.  For example; allow them to tie their own shoes, zip their own coat, use writing utensils, scissors and glue.

What makes Ada schools unique or different?
Ada school is unique because the students have many opportunities to try different things.

Best or most memorable teaching moment?
The faces on my students when they watch a butterfly or a chick hatch! I love it!  Also, when they are in high school and come back to ask me if I still do these activities with my class.  It means I have made a lasting impression on them. I also love when the student realizes that they are reading by themselves.

What excites/interests/captivates you inside the classroom?
I get excited when my students are actively engaged in the lesson...sometimes I even learn something new with them.

What excites, interests or captivates you outside the classroom?
I love crafts and reading at home.  I love my new house in the woods.  I just wish I had more time to do these things. Oh, yes, and I can't forget...I love Disney! Ha, ha.

If you weren’t a teacher/teaching what would you do/be doing?
Forensic Science, baker or culinary arts.