WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Mickey Smith Jr. has a passion for music.
The Louisiana native teaches at The Greene School in West Palm Beach.
"My musical experience was not traditional," Smith said. "If I can help them have an appreciation for music and if I can help them grow their personal perspective to see life as a huge ensemble."
Mickey keeps his classes interesting.
When he's not in the classroom, he's touring the country inspiring educators.
The 2020 Grammy Music Educator Award recipient speaks to educators in California, Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.
"I tell my students my first time on my saxophone was amazingly terrible. True story. My mom told me keep on going, outside the house, down the driveway my practice room used to be the woods across the street. But in that I learned something powerful," Smith said. "That it's all in how we receive it because time has taught me mom wasn't telling me to keep on going, as much as she was telling me keep on going."
He shares with educators that in his 17 years of teaching, he faced challenges in the past.
"I literally wrote down my letter of resignation because I felt like so many teachers. I felt frustrated, fatigued, I felt this really isn't going anywhere, that there wasn't a level of value," Smith said. "But thank goodness on the day that I sat down to write my letter of resignation, I received three handwritten letters from kids telling me my experience with them was the single most important factor in their entire educational career."
Mickey continued, "I love that red represents passion. And I think when you see a great teacher they are bringing that passion. And I think it's so important because we are giving our blood, sweat and tears out here. So when you see me on stage, it's not to be flamboyant, it's just a reminder what you bring to this beautiful stage called the classroom."
You can visit his website at https://mickeysmithjr.com/.