Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Smith
2/23/22, Mariah Gaines (Sophomore)
Mariah: We are here with Mr. Smith, 10th grade English teacher at Obama Academy, to ask him some important questions about a highly debated topic: his “dad jokes” of the day. Students, keep reading and you will finally get the answers you’ve been dying for. Mr. Smith, welcome. How are you?
Mr. Smith: I’m doing well, yeah. Couldn’t be better.
Mariah: Glad to hear it! If you’re ready, let’s jump right in. How long have you been doing your “dad jokes” of the day?
Mr. Smith: This is my third year doing it daily. Scattered through in years past, but I think I’m burying the lead here. I think you’ll get there with your questions.
Mariah: What inspired you to start doing daily dad jokes?
Mr. Smith: For a while I thought this weird thing like I should be relatable and cool to students but then I realized I should just embrace having a 7-year old and a 4-year old who were 1 and 4 at the time. They were wanting to hear jokes, we would look up silly ones, I would test them out here and I realized there’s a market for these here if I just grow them up a little bit. And then I just decided to lean into the whole dad schtick.
Mariah: Gotcha. Tell me about your student’s reactions to these jokes? Do they find them funny? Are they reactions you expect?
Mr. Smith: Yeah, so *chuckles*, I mean when you have 35 students in a classroom you will try a type of joke and you’ll get, on average, about one third of the people to enjoy it. But, it’s always a different third depending on the genre of the joke. So, the darker jokes I can start to feel like ‘oh these people will like this one’ –
Mariah: Oh so do you learn things about your students through the things they find funny?
Mr. Smith: Yeah! Right! So some people like the cynical jokes, some people like the groan worthy or cringe ones. But when I’m out, like I was out sick, without fail if I miss a day some student on Teams will be like “hey I need this work, also I didn’t get the joke of the day today’. So people complain about them but then there’s a little whole in their hearts when it’s gone.
At this point in the interview Mr. Smith and I were so rudely interrupted by 10th grader Isaiah Trumbull who came over to complain about the joke from this particular day (as well as the fact that he needed a new EXPO marker… this was a very official interview, I know).
Isaiah: Mr. Smith your joke today wasn’t very you I don’t think. Like I never know any of your jokes but today I walked in and kind of already knew the punchline.
Mr. Smith then steals my job and starts asking questions of his own.
Mr. Smith: Wait, wait. So you think the beauty of the jokes are that you don’t know the punchline?
Isaiah: Yeah I feel like everyone already knew what it was going to be.
Mr. Smith: You’d be surprised there were some startled responses later on in the day but tomorrow I try to find one that I’m like ‘there’s no way Isaiah has heard this’
Isaiah: Ok, ok… So how do you decide what jokes to use?
Isaiah: Oh, are you like actually interviewing him right now?
Mr. Smith: Yes, we are actually doing an interview on this and Isaiah is adding interview questions live! This is unprecedented!
Mariah: Back to our regularly scheduled program. Do students find you more approachable and easygoing because of your jokes?
Mr. Smith: You know what, I actually think every teacher needs something. And it’s just like a tiny thing, but it’s something that everyday students come in looking for, like Isaiah who you heard earlier. This is kind of lame, but I have one of the highest attendance percentages of tenth grade teachers…I do think some people come and they just want to see it but then they’re like ‘I might as well just stick around for the next 41 minutes. I’m already here’.
Mariah: That’s epic. Well, what would you say to all the people who claim to dislike your jokes, students or other teachers?
Mr. Smith: Uh, It’s like a metaphor. Like people dislike vegetables but they’re good for you. And in the end, you’ll be stronger because of them.
Mariah: Do you write these jokes yourself or do you get them from someone/something else? Now this is a rather burning question, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith: Oh, that’s classified. Yeah I will take that to my grave.
Mariah: A man of mystery I suppose. Now, my last question. Care to end this interview with a dad joke for our readers?
Mr. Smith: Absolutely! To the person who stole my glasses… I will find you, I have contacts.
Mariah: There you have it folks. An Eagle exclusive interview with the Mr. Zachary Smith. Make sure to stay tuned for another Teacher Spotlight in our upcoming edition. Please contact our publishers if there is a teacher you want us to interview next. Later skaters. Stay swag.