Teacher Feature: PE teacher Jamie Smith

At Cedar Falls High School, Jamie Smith’s physical education class is more than just a place to exercise; it’s a sanctuary of support and encouragement where sophomore Rainn Roatch finds solace and inspiration.

“I don’t just get called on randomly because I actually learn something,” Roatch said. In Smith’s class, Rainn said she feels valued and supported, knowing that her teacher takes the time to ensure each student’s understanding.

Smith’s commitment to creating a positive learning environment is palpable. “I try my very best to lead by example,” Smith said, her warmth evident in her every interaction with her students. “I bring an upbeat attitude, positive energy and a compassionate heart with me to class each day.”

For Roatch and her classmates, Smith’s willingness to provide opportunities for collaboration and independent exploration is especially valued. “By giving us free time at the end,” Roatch said, “Miss Smith allows us to apply what we’ve learned in class and further explore our interests.”

In addition to fostering a sense of autonomy, Smith emphasizes teamwork in her classroom. Roatch said she appreciates how her teacher encourages collaboration. “I enjoy working with others.” She said Smith’s emphasis on cooperative learning not only strengthens relationships among students but also enhances their understanding of the material.

Smith’s dedication to her students extends beyond the gymnasium walls. Smith recalled a particularly challenging time when her teacher faced health issues. “Many of my past and current students would reach out to me with words of encouragement,” She remembers gratefully. “I had numerous hype videos made by my students and staff that really uplifted my spirits during a very difficult time.”

Despite facing personal challenges, Smith remains focused on motivating her students to excel. “I practice what I preach,” she affirmed with determination. “I live a healthy and active lifestyle just as I ask my students to do.”

In Smith’s PE class, Roatch said she and her classmates discover not only the importance of physical fitness but also the value of kindness, collaboration. She said she is grateful for the privilege of being taught by such an amazing teacher. Miss Smith’s passion for teaching and her genuine care for her students make her a true treasure, and Roatch said she feels lucky to have had her as a teacher.

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