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Dan Smith

In+room+7-221+on+Wednesday+August+23%2C+debate+and+speech+teacher+Dan+Smith+leads+his+students+on+a+debate+topic.+Debate+class+allows+students+to+broaden+their+understandings+on+other+opinions.
In room 7-221 on Wednesday August 23, debate and speech teacher Dan Smith leads his students on a debate topic. Debate class allows students to broaden their understandings on other opinions.

In room 7-221 on Wednesday August 23, debate and speech teacher Dan Smith leads his students on a debate topic. Debate class allows students to broaden their understandings on other opinions.

Photo provided by: Bridget Froemming

Photo provided by: Bridget Froemming

In room 7-221 on Wednesday August 23, debate and speech teacher Dan Smith leads his students on a debate topic. Debate class allows students to broaden their understandings on other opinions.

Bridget Froemming, Staff Reporter

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From bell to bell, Dan Smith teaches debate and speech class to help students gain important communication skills that they can use in their future careers.  Smith has been teaching for 25 years, but worked in multiple careers before he taught.

“The easiest part about teaching is that it comes naturally to me,” Smith said. “I don’t have to try. I am who I am and I’m lucky that I’ve got skills that work in education. Every day I learn new things from my students. It’s cliche, but I learn to expect the unexpected. I want my students ultimately to not just be able to debate, but to know what they’re talking about. I want my students to learn the importance of  listening to the opposition and looking at things different way.”

Many students gain skills they can use in life from debate class. Students taking debate can expand their confidence in speaking and their appreciation for other’s opinions through learning and discussing current events, and debating topics that relate to society.

“I think Mr. Smith has done a very good job teaching me and everybody else how to be understanding and patient when debating,” senior Jacob Black said. “ He also teaches us how to debate intelligently on certain topics. He teaches us how to be more open minded on topics that we were once closed minded with.”

In his free time, Smith enjoys reading and listening to debate speeches to expand his knowledge on current events. Smith is very involved in the Lake Brantley High School community as he sponsors the debate club, the young Democrats of America club and club La’ Chaim, which all utilize communication and debate skills.

“I think oral communications in speech are very important,” Smith said. “People don’t realize it anymore in this high tech world, people don’t communicate that much.”

Smith taught debate in New York for ten years, then moved down to Florida and taught English at Crooms Academy of Information Technology for seven years. Wanting to teach at a bigger school, Smith jumped on the opportunity in 2009 to become the debate and speech teacher at Lake Brantley and has been doing so ever since.

“I thought about becoming a teacher in college, but preferred journalism,” Smith said. “I worked as a journalist but wasn’t really happy with it. Over the next five to six years I tried other professions and [was] not really happy. When I was 29, my wife said that i should be a teacher, and I took education classes at Dowling College. I have been happy everyday since. I know that I make a difference.”

 

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About the Contributor
Bridget Froemming, Multimedia Editor
Bridget Froemming is a senior and Multimedia Editor who is ecstatic to be contributing to The Brantley Banner for her second year. She is president of Thespian Troupe 2888 with the drama department, and is heavily involved with the technical aspects of theatre, as she has worked on more than six shows with the school....
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