November Manager of the Month ‘Looks for the Humor’ in all situations

November 7, 2018


By Konosuke Nakata


Bonnie Smith smiling with a student — Photo by Konosuke Nakata

November’s Manager of the Month, Bonnie Smith, teaches photography, art, and computers classes at The ASK academy. When she was in middle school, she said she was a model student. Check out her interview with The Catalyst.

Why do you think scholars voted for you?
Well, I am very lucky because I get to teach fun subjects and bring my puppy to school.

At what point in your life did you decide to become a teacher? How did it happen?
My Mom and Grandmother were teachers and encouraged me to teach. I went to UNM and did my student teaching in Albuquerque. I started teaching right out of college when I was 22 years old at Lincoln Middle School.

Who were the people who influenced you in your life?

My mom has influenced me the most. She was a positive and strong person who always looked for the humor in every situation.

What do you teach and why did you want to teach that/those subject(s)?
I teach Photography, Art and Computers. I have always loved art and have tried to incorporate art into all the subjects I have taught, even History.  Photography has always been a hobby and I had a photography business a few years ago. I feel so lucky to get the opportunity to teach subjects I love.

What kind of student were you in middle school?
In middle school I was a model student, always studying and doing my work, straight A’s… you all should do the same. 🙂

What is the hardest part of teaching Middle school?
Middle school students can be very distracted at times and sometimes learning isn’t quite their priority.

What do you like most about teaching?
I like meeting the scholars as 6th graders and watching them grow up through middle school and high school. I like being able to see how each student thinks differently and I like helping young people find what interests them.

What makes ASK scholars different than other students?
I think ASK scholars are more serious about school and more accepting of others. They want to do well and encourage others to do well.

What makes ASK different than other schools?
It is more project-based where students can be out in the hall working on robots, doing experiments or taking photographs. It has an open atmosphere that encourages a love of learning.

What are your hobbies?
A few of my favorite things are hot yoga, watching my kids do their sports, being with friends and Netflix.

Tell us about your family 

I have been married for 20 years. My husband and I have been friends since we were in the same 3rd-grade class. We have a son who is 18 years old and a daughter who is 16 years old.

What has been the most profound experience you have had teaching this year?
I think the fact that my son just turned 18 and is graduating from high school this year is influencing me the most. As a parent and teacher, my goal has always been to prepare the young people in my life to grow into responsible young adults who will head out into the world eventually. I just didn’t really realize how fast that actually happens.

What piece of advice would you give to scholars based on your knowing experience?
Make good choices that lead you to your future but learn to live in the moment. You will want to have happy memories to look back on as you get older.

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