Champaign Central Chronicle

The Student News Site of Champaign Central High School

Champaign Central Chronicle

Champaign Central Chronicle

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Smith

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Smith

Central High School has a large array of impactful staff, ranging from teachers to administrators, walking the halls day to day. Many go out of their way to shape the lives and minds of the students around them. An influential staff member for me is my previous English teacher, Taryn Smith.

Smith has been teaching English for 13 years, two of which have been at Central, running our school’s Yearbook and freshmen English classes. However, time does not amount to her great influence over the students of our school.

“Ms. Smith creates a safe space for everyone around her, makes her classroom available for anyone that needs her, and ensures that her students have the resources they need to succeed,” says sophomore Alice Bell.

Like many students, teachers look to their teachers before them as role models and aspirations for their lives. For Smith, her previous English teacher was a large catalyst for her being a teacher.

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“I had an incredible English teacher who opened my world to current events, history, social justice, and the world all through literature. She makes us feel welcomed in her space and comfortable to explore on our own. I still think about how I can be more like her,” says Smith.

Smith goes out of her way to ensure a welcoming environment for all her students, putting forth the effort to get to know her students, connect with them, and keep up with their lives.

“English Language Arts isn’t always an easy time commitment due to grading, but it is the best subject to make connections with students,” expresses Smith.

Along with the pros of teaching, Smith also expresses some roadblocks she runs into in her experience teaching.

“Does it make me sound old to say avoidance behaviors (phones)?” Smith jokes. “It’s okay if it does. Student mental health and avoidance of school is concerning and having to compete with a phone as a teacher is extremely difficult.”

Smith says her goals for the school year and the upcoming year are “to find and implement strategies to better support freshmen into the transition to Central. As yearbook adviser, I would also love to continue to revive yearbook culture and continue getting more students to be involved in its creation.”

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