“There was only one thing my parents agreed on, and it was that I hung the moon.
Satisfied? Never. No never. I am always trying to improve…and I look at things very logically. And I always think that I can improve my classroom management, make things really effortless.
I teach general music, pre-K through fifth.
The Bibb County Honor Choir is a district-wide audition choir. It’s relatively inexpensive. It’s an annual membership of $16 a year, and it’s this really beneficial program provided by the Fine Arts Department with Mr. Bridges and gives them an opportunity to have some extracurricular singing going on.
It’s usually 70 to 80 kids. And they meet in this room every Thursday, in the afternoons…
It’s a lot of fun. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do ‘cause I was in the Atlanta Boy Choir when I was seven. Did that for two years. Went to Spivey Hall Children’s Choir in Morrow, Georgia. And I was there for another eight.
So children’s choirs have kinda, kinda always been a part of my life.
As soon as I got this job and realized that I was only gonna teach kids to sing, you know, half the time it wasn’t enough. I was given the opportunity by Mr. Bridges after my first year.
So it’s been a pleasure ever since.
Well, I like being in this position because it gives me an opportunity to show young boys that they have a place in the choir. ‘Cause I was always one of three.
So, this year it’s 45 children, at Alex II…and at least half of them are boys.
I think that my greatest accomplishment thus far is that all of my fifth graders sing like angels, and I credit that to myself. I probably shouldn’t ‘cause I didn’t have them since kindergarten.
It’s proven that music stimulates the brain in multiple ways all at once…I mean, for me, why music matters is because it’s a creative outlet. And it’s something that gives, especially children, a feeling of control when they get to be creative.
Being in an educational environment, it’s apparent that they really don’t have a lot of freedom.
When I was their age, I was the worst of the worst. I had home issues goin’ on. So I would act out…then consequently, but also fortunately, I’d make friends with all the principals because I was in their office twice a day.
I saw every counselor at least once a week.
Music was a good outlet for me and a good sense of control, stability.
They have somebody in their corner. I have my eye out…they’re not the ‘bad kid.’ They’re the kid with stuff goin’ on at home.
I do my best to reach out to the kids who have a rough day. Teachers know they can send a kid to my class who’s having a rough day.
So, some of my life was kind of based in unpredictability which is not very stable for a child. Personality wise, that’s turned me into a very unstable person. I’m silly. I’m very silly. And I don’t do well with doing the same thing.
I don’t think I’ll ever have a job where I won’t at least have some creative control.
I love all of my coworkers, and the students are great.
I have my principal…and she’s fabulous. I have my Fine Arts Department Director. He’s fabulous. And the superintendent, he is…he’s got this plan…he’s got a way to do it. They’re called ‘non-negotiables.’ If everyone does this with fidelity, then the program will work, the system will work.
I’ve never been in this world…but…what I am seeing…it’s learning, and the kids are getting positive behavior interventions instead of yelling things.
I have a lot of background in technology and other places…I could be somewhere else, doing something different, making a lot more money, but this kind of stuff matters. This kind of stuff saved me. And…I just want to make it a point to them that there are people in their corner.
And music just happens to be a really good medium.
I’m trying to, like, push them a lot further…my second graders are reading seventh grade rhythms.
Chicken wings, my wife, and my two cats feed my soul. And I live downtown in a beautiful loft that we pay an arm and a leg for, ‘cause my wife’s a teacher, too.
Worth it? Oh, yeah. 100 percent. We don’t have any money for anything else, but you can see every church steeple in Macon from my apartment.
And everyone needs to try American Faves and Mo’ on Vineville…That’s the place. Mmhmmm. That’s the one.
My wife and I are friends with nurses and other teachers…because Bibb County invites a lot of introductory teachers. Because of that, we have a lot of young people. And then the hospital draws in a lot of the first-timers, as well.
I don’t necessarily care for Macon being seen as your first home. It could be your last home, too.
My wife and I talk all the time…‘Well maybe we would move to Atlanta where all our friends are and our family…and the arts are very appreciated and well funded…’
Or, we could stay here and be something for the kids that they may not necessarily ever see again.
It’s become home.
We kind of feel like, ‘If not us, then who?’
It’s just, I feel protective of the kids.
Yeah. Absolutely, I have a responsibility. I’m here at 7:15, and then I go home at 5:30.
What I’d really like to do is just walk around all day…go to the organ…go to Greg Black and play around with his organs all day. Or, go to, you know, do the barcade scene, or whatever. But, there’s not really enough time for that as a teacher.”