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Interview with Ariel Robins, January 25, 2020

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:23 - School Demographic

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Partial Transcript: It's a great school. It’s consistently one of the highest scoring schools, elementary schools, in the state

Segment Synopsis: Robins describes the demographic of the school in which she teaches which includes a racial breakdown of students.

Keywords: Finley Oaks Elementary; Fulton County; John's Creek; suburban; upper middle class

00:01:19 - Teaching Origin

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Partial Transcript: I’ve loved music from a very early age.

Segment Synopsis: Robins shares her music experience from childhood to adulthood as well as what it was like to actually begin teaching and how it differed from the way she was instructed in higher education.

Keywords: academic preparation; administration; first-year teaching

00:05:04 - Surviving 5 Years

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Partial Transcript: Well, the first thing is that I am extremely stubborn. So, when I heard that as an undergrad no matter what I’m going to get five years and I’ll reassess.

Segment Synopsis: Robins describes her determination in making it past the 5-year mark of teaching and how her relationship with her students, administration and community keeps her motivated to teach. She also shares how difficult it is to invest her time and creativity in her teaching career without it interfering with her personal life.

Keywords: 5-year mark; Taylor Road Middle School; Teaching rewards; challenging moments; proud moment

00:09:31 - Strength of the Music Program

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Partial Transcript: My second year teaching, Fulton County went through a terrible process where we had 4th and 5th grade band and orchestra teachers and then they cut them.

Segment Synopsis: Robins shares a time of uncertainty for her as a music teacher that she managed to survive and the hope she has for the music teaching program overall. She also shares how she uses humor and a fast-paced teaching style as tools to engage her students and how even though presented with other job opportunities, her love for teaching will not allow her to change her career..

Keywords: career change; funny moments; teaching style

00:12:59 - Mentor

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Partial Transcript: The high intensity taught me a lot about dedication and passion and hard work and I carry those values with me today

Segment Synopsis: Robin discusses how the structure of her high school band director's class motivated her to become a teacher and how she uses the same motivating concepts to find ways to mentor new teachers as well as encourage her students no matter what level they are on. She also discusses how conferences provide her a wealth of encouragement and resources that keep her motivated.

Keywords: Alfred Watkins; conference; high school band director; motivating students; peer-to-peer feedback; professional development