Thanks to Teachers: Julie Smith

 Julie Smith is a sixth-grade teacher at Bethel Middle School and a Thanks to Teachers winner. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

It's Computer Science week in Julie Smith's sixth grade science class.

"So, the games that you play at your house, or on your cell phone or your tablet, someone has had to code before," Smith explained to her students.

The Bethel Middle School students are learning how to code, and how the skill relates to everyday life.

"In basketball, the shock clock and stuff is coding. They had to code the score clock to do what it's doing," student Whitney Boone said.

"Video games -- you have to code that to make the players or the characters in the games. You have to make those out of coding," student Jake Henson said.

Smith has been a teacher for 19 years, but this is only her second year at Bethel teaching sixth grade.

"They come in and still need you to kind of hold their hand," Smith explained. "Then by the end of the year, the transition to middle school, it's like you see them soar. They're ready to become very independent."

In addition to teaching, Smith is also the school's cheerleading coach. "That adds a lot of extra time on, especially after school. Then trying to come back and do your family things, too...but, it's worth it," she said.

Meanwhile, Smith's students say the friendly, caring teacher is making them feel more at home in middle school in the small, tight knit Bethel community.

"The transition from elementary school to sixth grade is much different. Whenever Ms. Smith's here, it helps you a lot, because it feels like it's just normal," Whitney Boone said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off