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Interview with Scott Smith, January 28, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:13 - Career overview / Early days of teaching music

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

Segment Synopsis: Smith recalls his path to teaching music and the broad overview of his career thus far. He talks about the emotions and surprises he encountered early in his career. Smith offers advice he would give himself during that period.

Keywords: CMS; Carollton, Georgia; Central Middle School; Central-Caroll Middle School; Roopville Elementary School; Roopville, Georgia; elementary methods; elementary school; middle school

00:05:21 - Teacher training / Longevity in the career

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Partial Transcript: What can you say about the quality of your teacher training?

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about what was missing from his music teacher education. He discusses the reasons he’s stayed with teaching for seventeen years as well as the reasons others leave.

Keywords: Chorus; burnout; choral; elementary school; middle school; music education

00:10:01 - Rewards and challenges of the job

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Partial Transcript: And tell me about one of your proudest moments as a music teacher.

Segment Synopsis: Smith describes the pride he feels during his students’ performances and securing grants for the music program. He talks about the challenges and lighter moments of teaching middle school, and how it’s the only career he can see himself doing.

Keywords: chorus; grant writing; grants; middle school; music funding; music grants

00:14:58 - Successful methods in the classroom

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Partial Transcript: So If I had an opportunity to speak with some of your students

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about his teaching style and what he’s learned from the best teachers during his education. He describes the ways he motivates his students.

Keywords: Motivation; middle school; middle schoolers; motivating students

00:19:35 - Avoiding burnout / Learning from students

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Partial Transcript: A question I asked you earlier about have you ever thought about changing your career

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about how variety helps keep the students engaged and himself from burning out. He discusses a particular student who taught him the value of experimenting with music.

Keywords: Improvisation; harmonics; middle school; middle schoolers