Hometown Hero - Mickey Smith, Jr.

KPLC 7News at Six - July 15, 2020 - Pt. II

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Mickey Smith, Jr. is a household name for most people here in Southwest Louisiana. Now the Grammy Award educator is helping fellow teachers tackle virtual classrooms.

"Our teaching world has been flipped upside down now potentially with the advent of virtual teaching," said Smith. "I believe it's necessary now to help those teachers approach this new virtual world with confidence."

It’s still unclear just what the fall return to school will look like next month, but Smith says teachers must be prepared.

"Even though your class might not be virtual today, that's the trend. That's where it's going. When you can equip yourself to effectively communicate and to collaborate and create in a virtual area, then the benefits are going to transcend not only there but into your physical classroom, so it's a win-win."

On a Facebook page called “Sound 180 Educators,” the band director at Maplewood Middle School offers both advice and discussion topics on the new challenges for teachers.

"You're going to have to show the kids that they matter. That's why it's so important that educators and folks alike understand how they can convey their essence, their sound, so to speak, across that screen. Because at the end of the day, that's why the kids are coming to school. They're coming to school for that relationship. Relationship teaching is modern day teaching."

Smith says engagement is everything in education.

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