Teacher Profile: Mr. Smith

Teacher Profile: Mr. Smith

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching history

A: The thing about teaching history is that it’s more of a vehicle for skills, like writing skills or how to think critically, and the history kind of comes second. It’s not like English where it’s all out in the world. It has a hard fact you can tie, and it’s a good place for skills. 

Q: Was history something you knew you wanted to go into teaching?

A: I was actually pre-law for a while, so I [initially] did history, again, as a vehicle, right? To like, try and get into law school. Then, really, I got into the teaching track and realized that I really liked that. I feel like I didn’t get the most out of law and I feel like I got more out of the education piece. 

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Q: What is one piece of advice you hope students will learn through history?

A: I think the biggest thing is that using critical thinking rather than a personal opinion to support yourself is the most important thing in any subject right. It’s like having something to back up what you’re thinking. So just saying, an opinion that’s been said to you over and over again, right, isn’t always the best choice unless you’re thinking critically on how to support yourself. 

Q: What is a historical event that you nerd out about, and also, how often do you think about the Roman Empire?

A: Ancient world history is my jam. I spend most of the year on that in Academic 9 preparing or teaching that. 

Q: How much do you think about the Roman Empire?

A: I think about the Roman empire every day (I know it’s a tiktok trend!) I’ve been asked that all the time, but I feel like it’s unfair because I’m a history teacher–that’s kind of my job. I think that’s probably my favorite, because it’s like, everything that we do in the United States is like basically based on those two. And so it’s like, you can see the connections and everybody knows it because, like, Percy Jackson. 

Q: Is there a specific event?

A: Maybe just [the] culture of those two [Rome and Greece]. I don’t really focus on the wars so much — like the Persian Wars. They’re  interesting, but they’re so short. So I think about  Athens versus Sparta, or the Roman Republic conquering everybody, that kind of stuff. I think more about the culture. 

Q: That makes sense, not many people enjoy purely reading about the Persian Wars.

A: Well, right. That’s what I’m saying. It’s always, again, because it [History] is a vehicle. So it’s like, if I asked you to remember three battles versus why did the battles happen, right? That’s what’s more cool to me. 

Q: What is your current obsession at the moment in terms of books, film, media

A: Okay, so I actually just finished a book series, The Red Rising series. It’s like this Sci-Fi series book, this sci-fi fantasy book that’s in the future. Humans have colonized all nine planets, but they’ve [the humans] changed so that they’re like different [skin] colors. So like, there’s gold at the top, and their skin color and their hair is like gold, and they’re also 9 feet tall.

It’s based on the Roman Empire–the whole thing is like power struggles. There’s 6 books and they’re like 5-600 pages, so I crushed these books and finished them all in the last couple months. So, that’s my current obsession. 

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About the Contributor
Michelle Wiant, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Michelle is currently a Senior, where it is her third and final year writing for The Prowl. This year, she is excited to serve as the Co-Editor-in-Chief. Her favorite punctuation mark is the ellipses and her favorite cuisine is Korean. She loves music, and in her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, as well as drum majoring for the Indy Marching Band. She also enjoys listening to music, whether it be heavy metal, Debussy, or K-pop. She is biliterate in Mandarin and hopes to study abroad in China in the future. Michelle also likes to pursue reading and writing–particularly poetry. She is a big fan of the outdoors, particularly biking on the W&OD trail in the summertime. In the Newspaper, Michelle most often writes about breaking news within Virginia and Loudoun County, as well as opinion and review pieces on pop culture. This year, Michelle hopes to report more school events and interact with more students she doesn’t know. She also hopes to write more articles that empower the voice of the student body and represent the changes they want to see in our community. Michelle believes that passion and honesty are the most important values in a Newspaper, and she is very excited to both serve the staff as Editor and write awesome articles for The Prowl in her last year!