New Faces 2020: Robert Smelker

Robert Smelker is a Hawaii born passionate science teacher, teaching physical, biological, and marine science. Ever since he graduated from Lutheran High School of Hawaii, Smelker loved learning. He wanted to pass on his experiences to future students, and teaching felt like a “natural fit,” he said. “My past teachers in high school were a big influence on me. They taught me a lot, and put up with me too! I was even fortunate enough to work with some of them during my teaching program.” He loves when students discover new things by themselves, and that it’s “awesome” to see, he said. 

Outside of school, Smelker is an avid gamer and hiker. Although quarantine restrictions have prevented him from hiking as often, he still keeps in touch with his friends and family through gaming. “I stayed connected with friends and family online, gaming maybe a little too much along the way!”, he said. Smelker also took up some new challenges, like cooking and photography—he wanted to make his quarantine productive.

Coming back to school online has been an interesting experience for Smelker. But he believes that it is “safety first right now for the better,” he said. Smelker sees distance learning as a rehearsal in a way for college and adulthood, as “online school requires a lot of self motivation,” he said. He’s been seeing some of his students even thrive. Smelker hopes his students will develop their dedication, saying, “work that muscle now, and you will be twice as strong when you go on to college, or whatever career you choose for yourselves!”

Robert Smelker is a hard-working, kind-hearted teacher who strives to see his students succeed. Smelker is excited to teach his students this year despite certain circumstances. Smelker told me, “I look forward to teaching all my students and see my students graduate!”

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