Congratulations to CFNN Teacher of the Week, Mr Landon Smith! He is our featured staff member of the week. Mr. Smith teaches physical science and loves it. Smith is known in the halls of Cape Fear for his understanding and his compassion for his students.
He is the favorite among many students in Colt Nation. Even those who have not taken his class know who he is and talk about wanting to be in a class of his. “Mr. Smith makes learning really enjoyable. His class is fun and you can tell he cares about us and our future,” says junior student Nick Perry.
Mr. Smith graduated with an associate’s degree in science at UNC Wilmington. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fayetteville State University with a concentration in Human Anatomy and Zoology. Mr. Smith did not know at first that he wanted to teach.
“I started out in veterinary school,” he recalls. “I was really good at the classes, so I started tutoring biology and zoology to my classmates for money. I then realized that I had a knack for understanding and reading people and getting them to understand. So I switched majors.”
This is Mr. Smith’s 4th year of teaching high school. He has only taught at Cape Fear during this time. “I did a lot of work at an elementary school, Jack Britt, Pine Forest middle, and E.E Smith,” he said.
Before coming to Cape Fear, Mr. Smith taught at Fayetteville State University for underprivileged youth. He has taught grades 9-12 along with kindergarten and 8th grade on a temporary basis.
As a student in high school Mr. Smith said he always kept it in the back of his mind that he could be a teacher. “I kept a journal of what I liked as a student and what I didn’t like, why the teachers did this or that. I questioned everything,” he said.
When he got to college and started to apply himself in the classroom, he was able to discover who he was as a teacher. Mr. Smith realized his concern was not with the content, test scores, or science, but the fact that students needed to know that they mattered. He figured out that students would not learn from someone they did not respect, so his biggest goal in the classroom became forming relationships with his students.
Mr. Smith wants what is best for his students no matter what, so he gets to know them and understand what helps them learn. This caring attitude has earned him the respect of many students at Cape Fear High.
Mr. Smith considers himself to be carefree and understanding as a teacher. “As long as you communicate with me and be straight then we are golden,” he clarified.
He loves to laugh and have a good time with his students but, of course, has to teach, which is why so many students respect and like him. Loyalty, Mr. Smith says, is one of the most important qualities he tries to have. Whether loyalty means confidentiality or sticking to his word, he does his best.
Mr. Smith has many different hobbies outside of school that include going to concerts; pre-covid, this was his favorite activity. He has been to over 300 concerts and misses being able to do so. He collects vinyls and memorabilia from his favorite artists and bands.
Recently he has gotten into making custom punk and rock jackets. Along with music, cooking and experimenting with food also interests him. Mr. Smith said he loves going to new restaurants and taking road trips. “I love traveling and adventure no matter where it is!” he said.
Mr. Smith is loved by many people here at school, and it is easy to see why. Students love having a teacher who shows that he cares and wants to help them learn. Being able to have fun in the classroom while still learning is the dream class, and that is the very definition of Mr. Smith’s science class.