Colorado Selects Jimmy Lee Day as the First Black Male Teacher Of The Year
On October 28, 2022, Jimmy Lee Day, a music teacher at East Middle School in Aurora, CO, became the state’s first Black male teacher of the Year. Jimmy Lee Day Day said that he has been consistent in all his activities, from his class management to how he rehearses with his students. He also said that his principles are unbending, and he builds communication with his students by making himself human.
Jimmy Lee Day is the band director and instrumental teacher at East Middle School. He has been employed there since 2017 and has been an educator for over a decade. In that time, he built three band programs that became award-winning bands.
Jimmy Lee Day’s Education
Concerning his education, Day studied music at Tennessee State University. He said that he took courses that required practicums. This means he would go to a school and observe other teachers educate their students. He said these sessions ignited his passion for teaching middle and high school students instrumental music.
Day also stated that two events made it abundantly clear to him that he would teach for a living. He explained that the first event was when he assisted a middle school trombone student struggling with his music. Day said the band director notified him and asked for his help as a low brass instrumentalist. The award-winning teacher said he worked with the student. During the sessions, Day said he discovered the student was not identifying the right notes. He said once he pointed that out to the student, he experienced success and gratitude.
About the second event, Day mentioned he was around to run the class. During that period, he helped prepare the students for their winter concert. Day said the director told a coworker that the band sounded better after his time with them.
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