Humans of Lincoln East: Marcus Schmidt


Photo by Camden Cohn

Mr. Schmidt at his desk!

Marcus Schmidt is anything but your typical high school science teacher. Granted, he enjoys spending time with his kids like almost any parent but other than that, he’s as unique as can be. When I went into his office to interview him, the first thing that I noticed was that there was a 60 pound dumbbell on his desk next to his computer. When he needs a little adrenaline rush, he’ll pick it up and do some bicep curls while reading emails. What other science teacher does that? None! When Mr. Schmidt isn’t lifting weights, he also enjoys anything to do with the outdoors, whether that’s riding bikes, running, going to the lake or playing sports with his 14 and 11 year old children.
But what makes Schmidt really special is how adept he is at developing relationships with his students on a personal level. In 19 years of teaching, 4 at Pius X and 15 at East, he’s had a lot of experience relating to students and getting them to open up to him. “When you meet people just give them a chance and remember that we’re all connected in ways that may be beyond our understanding. Even though some students may give me a hard time and can be hard to connect with or deal with, there’s a reason for that, that I just don’t understand yet.” He hopes that by being a teacher that students can relate with, he can learn what underlying issues students may have and help them however he can. What’s so rewarding to Mr. Schmidt is when a student who may have struggled in high school comes back post graduation and says that he helped them graduate and that thanks to him, they have their dream job and couldn’t have done it without his help. “To see that they’re doing something and not just sitting in their parents basement is very rewarding.”
Mr. Schmidt actually struggled with science himself, he had to work at it and go in for help in order to even pass the class. He feels like this further helps him to relate to students because not everyone likes science or is good at it, Schmidt didn’t even like it during high school, it wasn’t until college that he realized he might like to teach science but because of his experiences as a student, he feels that that helps to make him a better teacher. He wants to be the “cool” teacher that students feel comfortable coming in after school for help or asking questions during class and not feeling ashamed because he went through all of this as a student himself. These are just some of the many things that make Marcus Schmidt such a unique face in the hallways of Lincoln East.