As he prepares to enter his 12th year of teaching, Tyler Schmidt has spent the last four years in the Grain Valley School District as the 6th-8th grade speech and theatre teacher and recently transitioned to solely teaching 8th grade science at Grain Valley South Middle School. He understands and values the importance of his role within the Kansas City and Grain Valley communities.
“I find pride each day in the effect that I make on my students,” said Schmidt. “The proudest moments are when you witness students using skills or encouragement that you’ve provided them in their own lives or the lives of others. When you talk to students often about ways to build up their character and they put those skills out on display, you see the effect you have made, and it makes you work even harder for the next moment.”
Like many educators, one of Schmidt’s highlights of teaching at Grain Valley South Middle School is the people he’s surrounded with on a daily basis. This stretches beyond the students and extends to parents, other educators, custodians, coaches, nutritional staff members and faculty. They all work together as a cohesive team to help give the students the most important gift they can: their time.
“I am someone who is a life-long learner and constantly looking for advice and ways to grow,” said Schmidt. “We have an amazing ability to take the events that occur in our lives for what they are, most out of our control, and then we respond. If you’re able to respond appropriately and effectively, you will arrive at a desired outcome and opportunities will arise shortly thereafter. This is especially important to remember as a husband, parent of young children, teacher and coach.”
Aside from teaching, Schmidt has also coached middle school basketball and high school boys and girls soccer at Grain Valley High School. Originally from Maryville, Missouri, Schmidt has lived in the Kansas City area since 2011 and obtained his Bachelor of Education and Master’s degrees from Northwest Missouri State University.
While each day presents a new opportunity for Schmidt to impact and influence his students, he presents a simple motto that helps push them to new heights as they prepare for the next chapters in their lives.
“Do you know the difference between being good and being great?” Schmidt would ask his students. “When you are good at something, you’ll tell others about it. But when you are great at something, others will tell you.”
It’s a straightforward saying that has been able to further strengthen the minds of his students as they continue to grow into the best versions of themselves.
“I found students saying this to each other all too often at the end of the school year: ‘You’re not just good, you’re great!’. We were spreading the love and pushing ourselves from being just good to being great,” said Schmidt. “Students know from the beginning that I have high expectations, and those expectations are rooted in my understanding of what they can handle. I would never ask them to do something that they are not capable of accomplishing.”
“He is a tireless advocate for his students and colleagues,” said Schmidt’s nominator, James Myers. “He brings positive energy to his classroom every day and is a master educator in every sense of the word. He is a team player who is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone who learns and works at Grain Valley South Middle School is set up for success. Our building is a better place because Tyler Schmidt is part of our team.”
“Tyler’s nominator does a remarkable job in highlighting the numerous areas of excellence that he demonstrates on a regular basis with his students,” said Jenny Housley, Blue KC Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “Teaching 8th grade science is no easy task, but it’s evident that Tyler’s unique ability to impact and relate to his students helps to create a thriving environment for everyone. It’s an honor to recognize him for this monthly award.”
“Life is a competition with ourselves, as we try to be better today than we were yesterday,” said Schmidt. “I am their 8th grade teacher forever, not just for nine months.”
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans will continue to be recognized monthly at Children’s Mercy Park during Sporting home games. Fans are encouraged to nominate teachers and students who are making a positive impact on their schools and communities by using the form online at https://www.sportingkc.com/BlueKC.