21st Century Media Submission by: Ella Lehman
Video presented by: Smithville Media Network Broadcast Staff
Many would say that Mr. Martin is a good teacher. But the word ‘good’ has been used so many times, that it has grown rather dull, and dull just isn’t a fitting description for Mr. Martin. Better words are: compassionate, optimistic, visionary, sarcastic, and maybe even introverted.
Martin grew up in a town just outside of Liberty, named Pleasant Valley. He received his undergraduate degree at William Jewell College and his graduate degree at the University of Missouri. Originally, Martin wanted to study broadcasting but happened upon teaching, and now he is an English teacher at SHS.
Not only does Martin teach English, but he also teaches literature for social change and is a debate coach. Martin spends large amounts of time outside of school hours at debate practices and has helped the competing students improve greatly.
“I like argumentation and logic,” said Martin. “I think the variety of ideas is my favorite part of teaching. Just because I feel something is going to go a certain way or should go a certain way doesn’t mean it will—when you add in 20 or 30 other opinions, it frequently goes in a different direction, and that’s kind of fun.”
He may be new to Smithville, but Martin isn’t new to the teaching field. His very first job as an instructional assistant in the self-contained special education program at Parkhill.
Then, Martin worked as a speech communication teacher at Hickman Mills. There he taught a couple of business courses, helped with the debate program, the theater program, and worked with a group called the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. Martin next worked at North Kansas City High School and taught theater, debate, and English. Finally, Martin worked at the University of Missouri for a while and was an educational consultant with the Regional Professional Development Center.
“I’ve seen a lot of students become successful. Either in a trade or craft or going to college. Several of my students, while I was coaching debate, went on to the influential debate programs at their colleges or universities,” said Martin. “I don’t really think of me as achieving anything, so much as my students doing well after they leave.”