The Educator Spotlight recognizes those who contribute to the education of local students. Educators were chosen by consulting with site PTA, student government organizations and staff. Educators were chosen for their reputations with students, staff, parents and the community.
Cindy Smith – Malibu High School
Cindy Smith has a passion for both math and dance and brings real life into the classroom through her experiences with both. She has a BA in Business Management with minors in Mathematics and Dance, and an MA in Computer Applications for Educators. She has owned her own dance studio and athletic store, and was also a professional dancer (Disneyland and an NBA Clipper Spirit dance team member). She continues to use her dance skills by judging and directing school based dance competitions all over the western US.
With two children of her own, one a college graduate and one currently enrolled in college, Smith has been teaching for 30 years. She is currently teaching Alg. II, Statistics and AP Statistics at Malibu. She began teaching and coaching right out of high school and has taught middle school, high school, and business, education and dance courses at the university level.
But Smith teaches more than just content …
I teach character, integrity, responsibility and hard work through the teaching of math. I teach the students that if they have that first, the skills will come. I want them to know that if they live, love, and learn without fear, the possibilities are endless; even if there are times of failure, they will find success. Don’t settle. Use hard work, dedication and discipline and become all you can be.
My students inspire me to be the best teacher I can be: to not stop my own learning and at times changing what I do or how I do it to be better for them. One of my favorite quotes is by Suzanne Salapa, “If we teach students how to learn, what to learn becomes inconsequential.” It’s all about learning. I want my students to just learn.
Many of my former students have become teachers and coaches themselves. I think of my high school dance team coach who inspired me so much. It is great to know what she has taught me has now passed down to all my students. Those who have become teachers and coaches are passing that down as well. To have those I’ve taught now teach is an amazing feeling. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am passionate about teaching students that they can do math. I am passionate about teaching them to find what success means to them and then about doing everything I can to help them find that success. Mostly, I am passionate about the students themselves. To provide a safe, fun and loving learning environment where students have the freedom to explore learning, yet always know the responsibility falls upon them to take what is taught, use it and succeed. To make sure that each and every one of my students know that simply because they walk into my room, they matter!