Jaime Smith: Passionate about the arts

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Ten of LaRue County’s teachers have achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ certification. We’ll take a look at their philosophy and the hard work required to become ‘the best.’

By Ron Benningfield

 Although he has been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards since 2011, Jaime Smith sees improvement as a teacher as a continuing process. 

“I’m always looking for ways to be better at whatever I do,” said the director of bands for LaRue County Schools and arts and humanities instructor at LaRue County High School.

A great part of that improvement, he acknowledged, came as a result of the certification process requirement of having oneself video-taped while teaching, a requisite Smith found most challenging.

“Most people do not like watching or listening to themselves and I am no exception,” he said. “It’s hard to watch yourself, but it’s a very important part of the process.

“The candidates watch the video while analyzing everything they did and said, why they did it, and most importantly, what results it produced in the students.”

As he viewed himself on screen, he was able to critique himself from a student’s viewpoint.”

“I realized that I talked too much during the course of a lesson,” he said. “I learned that I needed to spend less time talking and the students needed to spend more time doing.”

He also learned that when designing instructional activities, he needed to be more aware of how close each activity connects with its learning goal. As a result, he feels as though his students are retaining the things they learned for a longer period of time.

Smith received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Campbellsville University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky, and Rank I teacher certification.

“I’m passionate about the arts, because I believe in their importance and contribution to student achievement beyond the high school level,” he said.