Our back to school teacher feature is Melissa Smith, a 2nd grade teacher at East Side Elementary. She’s been teaching for 13 years, eight of those in Chandler. A CHS alumna, Melissa grew up in Chandler where both her parents worked as educators. She received her degree from UCO in Edmond.
Q What led you to teaching?
A Both my parents were educators and I’ve always enjoyed working with kids. I saw firsthand growing up the powerful impact teachers could have on students.
Q Did you have any key mentors or people who influenced who you are, and/or your decision to become an educator?
A My parents were very influential in my decision to teach. They both were very positive role models not only to me, but their students and players.
Q What would you say most motivates you to teach?
A My students motivate me every day. I love to see their faces light up when they finally grasp a concept or how engaged they become when learning new things.
Q What are you most excited or passionate about?
A I love to see students get excited about learning. It’s also very rewarding when you see how you’ve made a difference in a child’s life.
Q What do you find most challenging about being a teacher?
A Some of the biggest challenges we face are funding and limited resources. Thankfully, we are extremely blessed that several organizations and businesses have provided supplies and grants for teachers.
Q What's the best thing to happen since you started teaching?
A Former students remembering me and telling me how much they enjoyed being in my class
Melissa’s daughter Blaklei is in 3rd grade at Park Road. She enjoys spending free time with her family and friends, and watching Blaklei play sports.