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Interview with Kevin Hays, January 27, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:13 - Early days as a music teacher

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Partial Transcript: I’d like to start off by asking you: how long have you been teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Hays describes the elementary school where he teaches. He talks about his journey to becoming a music teacher and his first day on the job. He talks about what’s different about teaching than what he expected as well as the advice he’d give himself at the start.

Keywords: Hartwell, Georgia; South Hart Elementary School; band camp; elementary school

00:05:42 - Teacher training / Reasons teachers leave

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Partial Transcript: What comments can you make regarding the quality of your teacher training?

Segment Synopsis: Hays talks about the regret of neglecting the elementary education portion of his teacher training. He explains why he plans on retiring as a teacher. He talks about the stress of standardized testing on general education teachers and the stress of limited budgets for music teachers.

Keywords: University of West Georgia; classroom management; elementary education; general education; lesson plans; standardized testing; teaching to the test

00:09:32 - Highs and lows of the job

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about a time this year where you’ve - one of your proudest moments.

Segment Synopsis: Hays talks about the pride he felt when his students gave an exceptional performance of a challenging musical. He talks about dealing with unruly behavior from his students and the pressure of having his classroom observed. He discusses using humor and dancing to connect with his students.

Keywords: Lights! Camera! Christmas!; elementary school; kindergarten; music education; musical; observation

00:17:09 - Most influential teachers

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Partial Transcript: When you think back on teachers you've had, music or otherwise

Segment Synopsis: Hays talks about his college professor teaching him the importance of balancing content with classroom management. He talks about gaining inspiration from his high school band director who pushed him to reach his potential.

Keywords: Josh Byrd; UWG; University of West Georgia; classroom management; mentor teacher; student teaching

00:20:33 - Motivating students / Avoiding burnout

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Partial Transcript: So you’ve had these great teachers, and obviously very motivating to you

Segment Synopsis: Hays talks about motivating his students by utilizing current pop music they enjoy. He talks about avoiding burnout by limiting his after-hours obligations and using video games as a relaxing hobby.

Keywords: burnout; elementary school; pop music; rural; video games

00:23:26 - Mentorship / Being assertive

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Partial Transcript: Sounds like you’ve had some good teachers that have kind of taken you under their wings.

Segment Synopsis: Hays talks about leading by example when it comes to mentoring peers and students. He discusses his perspective on networking with colleagues in the music education field. He talks about a student who encouraged him to be more assertive.

Keywords: college; music education; networking; student teaching