Rob Smoot - Upper School Science Teacher - About - McDonogh School

Rob Smoot, Upper School Science Teacher

Photographer: Jason Broome ’25


What inspired you to become a teacher?

My dad was a teacher, and my mom eventually became a teacher. I always enjoyed science, learning, and coaching. Becoming a teacher was a great way to combine my love for all three. 

What do you find most rewarding about teaching and working with students?

It is rewarding when students are as awestruck by nature as I am and when they learn that a growth mindset and hard work pay off. Also, I like the shared joy of discovery as we work together.

Do you have a favorite place on campus? What makes it your favorite?

I love the beauty of the woods and land surrounding the campus. On central campus, I love the chapel; I was married there in 1984. The columbarium has special meaning to me, too, as it holds the remains of many of my past teachers and mentors, and it will be the resting place for my parents as well. Like other old-timers, I also have fond memories of special places like Eddie’s Gym, former homes, and “Old Jane Bay” that no longer exist.

Are there any memorable or impactful moments in your teaching career that stand out to you?

Memorable and impactful moments for me are field trips to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s nature centers like Fox Island, Smith Island, and Tangier Island; fun, discovery, and “aha” moments in the lab and greenhouses; big wins and championships coaching football and wrestling; beautiful days on campus; fellowship with students and teachers in FCA/FOCUS. I should also mention building cardboard boats with students and other faculty!