Irene Smith Board

National Board Certified Teacher at Discovery Lab School

Irene Smith teaches middle school Language Arts and Social Studies to clever, interesting, and energetic students.She is married to her best friend, Brad, and they have five grown up children.She loves backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula, spending time with her grandchildren, reading and writing books, and going to Shakespeare plays.

Twitter: @TeachLearnHope


Date Range

Grade Level


Taking off for a great year

A bit of time in the summer makes all the difference for having a stress free start to the year. It's easiest to get a jump on things rather than try to build the plane while already up in the air.

The Love U Get

My father didn’t get to have a mother, and his father preferred to be dead.Not every child has the joy of experiencing loving parents. Allow me to tell you a story. I promised it has more than a little to do with education.

Bored Student

The student ducks her head after scanning the rest of the class, anxious not to be called on. She isn’t sure what answer the teacher is looking for. She fears the inevitable teasing that comes when she makes a mistake.

Sad Student

Difficult.  Trouble-maker.  Problem. Bad kid.  Defiant. These words are sometimes used to describe a student who threatens the classroom environment by challenging authority, refusing to comply, or who seemingly is disinterested in learning and makes sure everyone else is aware they won’t be participating.

Drawing of the word Fear

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one’s fear. The timid presume it is a lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not. But to take action when one is not afraid is easy. To refrain when afraid is also easy. To take action regardless of fear is brave. ~Ambrose Redmoon aka James Neil Hollingworth

Lake, Forest, and Mountain

Why is it so important to believe in our children’s ability to be their best selves, to do their best work? Expectations are important, but they are also tricky.

“Boys will be boys,” is a phrase that particularly irritates me, as if it’s okay to just ignore or even embrace certain misbehavior because of stereotypes.