A Passion for Teaching: David Smith Inspires Students


Emma Dixon

David Smith, ready to commence his class’s traditional mock trial with his gavel.

Government teacher David Smith has consistently inspired and engaged his students during his 48 years of teaching, all of which have taken place at FHS.

Smith said, “I had planned on going to law school, but my father died suddenly and I decided to try teaching. My student teaching was done here at Fauquier High School and my mentor was Mr. James Wilson, the only Black history teacher at this school in 1974. He was such an outstanding teacher that he convinced me that this was a noble profession, and I have never looked back. I really feel blessed that this great man was my mentor.”

Although he has a strong love for the legal system of the US government specifically, he says that he devotes his energies to the entire governmental system as much as possible in order for his students to have a more comprehensive education.

A tradition in David’s Smith’s classroom that generations of his students have enjoyed is that of organizing mock trials. Smith said, “It has shown me that differentiation of instruction is a necessary part of good teaching.”

Smith also mentioned that if he could only teach his students one thing, it would be to “…instill in each student the questioning attitude of not accepting material at face value, but take the time to think for yourself,” Smith said.

When he’s not teaching, Smith takes pleasure in working with his church, spending time with his family, cooking and writing. Smith also maintains a website called smittycity.org that touches on topics such as recipes, philosophy, sports, government, current news, space and conspiracy theories.