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Interview with Marcy Simmons, January 26, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:14 - Early days of teaching

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

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Simmons describes the two Atlanta public schools where she teaches as well as the elementary teacher who inspired her to pursue music education. She talks about starting her career with confidence due to having a good mentor. She talks about the aspects of the job that took her by surprise. She talks about her integrative approach to teaching and the time she talked with Dr. Howard Gardner about his theory on multiple intelligences.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Atlanta Public Schools; Atlanta, Georgia; Barnett Shoals Elementary School; Dr. Howard Gardner; Hutchinson Elementary School; IB schools; International Baccalaureate schools; classroom management; conferences; elementary school; high risk; inner city; integration; mentorship; multiple intelligences; music education; operas; student teaching; urban

00:06:39 - Highs and lows of the job

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

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Simmons talks about the scattered experience of earning her Bachelor’s degree and gaining the most from student teaching. She talks about the lack of preparation and proper expectations that causes many teachers to leave. She talks about having a breakthrough with a difficult student that came as a result of giving him a role in a musical. She describes the challenge of teaching at two schools simultaneously.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; B.A.; Bachelor of Arts - Music; Clark Atlanta University; Georgia State University; Morehouse College; Morris Brown College; Spelman College; administration; classroom management; cooperating teachers; itinerant teaching; lesson plans; multiple intelligences; music education; musicals; student teaching

00:12:46 - Teaching style

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Partial Transcript: Now you say about juggling two schools

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Simmons talks about the importance of efficiency and simplifying when teaching at two schools. She talks about embracing humor and freedom in the classroom. She talks about learning from her mentor as a student teacher to be tenacious and to multitask.

Keywords: Roselyn Lewis; Teacher of the Year; elementary school; itinerant teaching; kindergarten; lesson plans; mentorship; multitasking; piano; student teaching

00:18:15 - Motivating students / mentorship

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Partial Transcript: How do you motivate your students?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Simmons talks about motivating students through personal connection and engagement. She talks about constantly seeking knowledge to grow professionally. She talks about befriending an art teacher who considers her to be a mentor. She talks about how encouraging her students to challenge and question the lessons helps her become a better teacher.

Keywords: GMEA; Georgia Music Educators Association; TED Talks; conferences; elementary school; lesson plans; multiple intelligences; music education; researching; smart types; work-life balance