Get to Know Mr. Smith, Art Teacher Extraordinaire
11 December 2015
Mr. Tim Smith
Interview by Zach Nelson
I sat down today, the day of December the 3rd, 2015, with Mr. Tim Smith to have a small chat about a few things. I started off saying that I thanked him for taking the time to sit with me and let me in on a few answers to my burning questions.
“So what do you got for me?” He asked as he rubbed his hands together. This kicked off the conversation and I asked my first question, which was where he was born at and where he grew up. “I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and I grew up in Soddy-Daisy.” He cut this answer off abruptly but appropriately as he received a phone call.
Next question I had in line was where he had went to college and if he received any degrees from said college years. After he dealt with some students and sat back down, he answered this question. “To start off, I got my Ad associate’s degree from Chatt. State after two years. I moved on to get my Education Certification in art at UTC, which I went to for four years.” I was slightly appalled at just how long he had gone to college, and I replied with another question.
“Have you ever won any types of awards or have you been featured at all for your art?” He sat back to think for a minute before replying to this question. “I haven’t really won that many awards come to think of it, but I did do an Art contest.” Before he could continue, I asked him what piece he entered into the contest he had just mentioned. “It was a self portrait of me brushing my teeth, funny, I know.” he laughed. He went on with what he was previously saying once we settled back down, “Anyways, yeah, I went into the art contest and next I was working on a collaboration for a logo design, if that counts as featurization. I was also a featured artist at Connooga and am excited to be doing Shuttercon this year.” he finished. “Ah, cool, Shuttercon.” I replied.
I brought around the next question from thin air, I asked him where his first ever teaching job had been, or if he even had one before he came to this school. “No, Sale Creek is my first ever full time teaching job.” I took a moment to let him deal with a few more students, and I tended to organizing my questions.
“Off the wall, but what exactly is your favorite media stuff, like music, books. Entertainment, really.” He laughed, “Well, there’s a lot to answer on that one. I would have to say that my favorite author at the moment is an author named Ted Decker. My favorite movies include Lord of The Rings, Star-Wars, The Avengers, and my favorite type of media are comics. As for music, my favorite genre would be contemporary Christian, with Jazz being a close second.” He replied quickly as I struggled to keep up with writing all of it down.
I finished writing and went immediately onward to my next question. “What is the easiest thing that comes to you as a teacher?”This was a question he answered quite quickly, saying to me, “My relation with kids is what comes easiest.” It was quick and to the point answer, but a great one nevertheless.
I had to get one question out of the way so that I could finally get away from the slightly less interesting questions, so I broke away from the serious stuff for a bit and asked him just what his most embarrassing moment as a teacher had to be. As soon as I finished asking that question, he laughed and thought for a bit before replying. “Ohh, what is my most embarrassing moment? Would it be the time that I discovered the peephole on the door peeking into mine and Mr. Gardner’s room during one field trip?” He asked himself, “No, no the most embarrassing moment I must have had during my time teaching would have to be me dressing as a cheerleader during one of the homecoming games, I think.” he laughed.
Once I regained my composure from laughing and joking along with Smith, I asked another question on the serious side of things. “What makes being an art teacher worth it? Why is it worth it to be a teacher like you?” I asked and waited for an answer. “Getting to see kids learn to love and appreciate art, and having a kid come back to say thank you once he has graduated and all.” He said fastly. I talked with him and asked if this had ever happened and he told me that he has kids come back all the time to let them know how grateful they were.
Moving onto the next question, I asked him what one thing that nobody knew about him was. This question made him think for a long while before replying. “Hmm, what is one thing.” He asked himself. The answer was actually derived from a fellow nearby student, “You’re a certified minister. Not many people know that.” they said, which made him snap his fingers and say, “Oh yeah! I am a certified minister.” he said as his answer. We all chuckled a bit at how long it took to answer that question.
I saved my hardest question for him for last, but to my surprise it was not his hardest to answer. I took a moment to revise how I wanted to ask the question, and I asked him. “What has to be your number one favorite drawing hands down?” I asked, hoping to stump him. Mr. Smith leaned back once more in his chair, “My most favorite?” He asked, “I did this drawing one time, it was of a man who was indian and he was missing an eye. I really liked this drawing because of the complexity and uh, yeah. It should still be up in a studio right now because it was drawn for this one guy who hung it up in his studio and I thought that was really cool.” he finished.
I wrote up the last bit of what his answers were and made a few changes to my notes as I got up from my chair and thanked him once more for answering my questions.