Staff Spotlight – Ms. Smetana

Sofia Hernandez, Student Journalist

Ms. Renee Smetana is a teacher at MTS Secondary who likes to live in Minnesota even though it is not her native state. “I have my family here. I moved with my mother for my brother, who has three children.” She also enjoys the beauty of Minnesota. She said, “The seasons of the year, especially fall, because the colors are really beautiful. The colors in the trees are like fireworks, but I hate how cold it can be, because you can’t enjoy the outdoors and you need to stay warm in your house.” The subject that she teaches is Math, but, why did she choose math to teach instead of other things you might ask? Well, she told me she was really inspired by her teacher in 9th grade named Mr. Crandall who made math easy and kinda funny, so she wants to do the same.

We all see math in different ways. For some of us it is challenging, for others is something really easy to solve and learn, and for Miss Smetana math is more like a game. “It’s like a game, like a puzzle to solve,” she said. But even though she likes math, not everything in that subject is beautiful and for Ms. Smetana something that she doesn’t really like is that most of her students don’t like math because they find it challenging and boring. I know what she means because some (of course not all) of us have the wrong idea about math just because sometimes teachers can’t explain it well and we just hate that we can’t figure out the solution to the problems. But luckily we have a teacher who focuses on trying to explain it in the best and simple way like Ms. Smetana.

During these crazy times she likes to distract herself by reading books of fiction and hanging out with friends, respecting the new norms of the current situations. 

Even though Ms Smetana likes to teach, that’s not her first option if she could do it all over again. She told me she’d choose to be an architect.  Her advice to people that what to teach is: “Have patience, a lot of patience!”  She also reflected on some of the highs and lows of teaching. “Between the best part and the hardest is to see how your students graduate and go away because you form a relationship with them and I miss them a lot!” Ms. Smetana also has some secret talents! “I’m a really good gift wrapper and I love horseback riding.” Some of us can agree that horses are really beautiful animals, but Miss Smetana can do horseback riding! I wish I could!