||Bedford Middle School Teacher Chad Smith Accepting his Award at the Lynchburg Living Top Teachers Award Ceremony
Bedford Middle School
Years in Education: 12
Currently Teaches: 6th - 8th Grade Band
Special Recognition: BMS Teacher of the Year 2016-17
Educational Background: Radford University, Bachelor of Music-Instrumental Music Education
Why did you become a teacher?
I have always had a love for music - from my father singing oldies in the car when I was growing up to finding a welcoming place in school where my strengths could be recognized. I was fortunate to have outstanding music teachers, both in and out of school, who made a huge impact on my life. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to provide the same environment, experiences and lifelong lessons music has given me.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There is always a moment when I'm in front of my third-year band students - it could be a rehearsal or a formal performance - where they go from just playing the music to bringing it to life and feeling into it. It is such a unique reward to be part of each musician's journey, from teaching them as beginners how to hold their instrument to that point three years later when they can move you through their music with the skills they have developed in your class.
What are your biggest challenges?
For teachers, some challenges will always be present - for me, it's not having enough time in the day to do everything you need and want to do for your students. However, an ever-growing challenge has been overcoming the fixed mindset students walk into class with and working to shift it towards a growth mindset where anything is attainable with hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
Looking back at your career, what would you say is your greatest personal accomplishment?
It is my hope that my greatest personal accomplishment will be knowing I helped shape the next generation for the better. I hope I have helped cultivate caring, kind and productive citizens through music and by example. And that because of their musical experience, student will be more willing to seek out, desire and bring more beauty into the world.
Describe a favorite memory with your students.
As a former teacher at Sanford School in Delaware, the seventh grade always took a week-long trip to Vermont in the fall. This was to be a time of teambuilding and bonding, as well as opportunities for personal growth. After numerous games, family-style eating, and a ropes course, the week would always culminate in a mountain hike. For most of these students from Delaware, a mountain was definitely something new and challenging. My last year there reaching the top with mostly band students is still one of my favorite memories and photos.
From His Nomination:
"Mr. Smith sees that every student deserves respect and also needs to learn how to give respect. He plans the Veterans Day assembly every year and the pride he instills in the students is amazing." - co-worker Lindsay Meredith