FLUSHING — The Flushing Education Association (FEA) has selected Lindsay Smith as its Teacher of the Month for April. Smith teaches special education at Flushing High School, as well as a study skills class. She is also currently a teacher consultant for students with disabilities at the high school level. Smith has been with the district for 10 years.
Below is an interview between the FEA and Smith:
FEA: Why did you become a teacher?
LS: Growing up, I loved sports. I always believed I would coach and teach at the same time. As a special education teacher, I feel I have found everything I need… without the need for coaching. The students and staff are my team. We work together to make learning fun, supported, accommodated and modified for all of the learners in our building.
FEA: What motivates you to put in the blood, sweat, and tears that education requires?
LS: The students inspire me to want to do more. Sometimes more than I can personally handle. I spend a lot of time outside of the school day, working on the many things my students and my fellow teachers need. It’s important to me that I bring something to the table for each student I work with and follow through on my plans. Playing a part in developing their stories makes me want to work harder. Behind the day-to-day scene, there is so much to do for students with disabilities that many people don’t understand. We laugh together, cry together and cherish our wins. I work hard because those that work with me work hard too. I couldn’t do what I do without the staff and students’ support… we’ve become a small family over four short years.
FEA: What role do teachers have in the community?
LS: Teachers are a vital part of our community. We help promote community events, organize resources when needed, and support our fellow businesses. We give back to those that support our students. When I walk into the grocery store and see our students working and learning employment skills… it warms my heart.
FEA: What is a moment you’d like to share from your profession. This could be general or specific.
LS: A few years ago, I had a student in class that grew very close to. His mother was diagnosed with cancer and not doing well. I stayed involved and showed him the most support I could. His mother ended up passing during the school year and I got a chance to speak with her about her son prior to her passing. She asked me to watch out for him and help him along. I’ll never forget those moments with her. This student is now a Flushing Community Schools employee. I’m happy teachers are here to help their students through moments like these. We are much more than just educators. Proud to be a Raider.