Jessica Simmons


Jessica Simmons

School & School System Where You Work

New Century Middle School, Moore County Schools

Number of Years Teaching


Teaching Area(s)


Grade Level

Middle School

What do you love most about teaching music?

I love hearing beginners make their first sounds! Their excitement is contagious.

Who inspired you to be a music educator and how did they inspire you?

My music teachers: Earl Murphy, Mike Wilkins, Karen Huey and Marian Carlsen. They all held me to high standards and showed that they truly cared about me as a person.

What did you need the most when you started teaching?

I needed a mentor to bounce ideas to collaborate with and discuss ideas.

Describe the biggest challenge to teaching music education and how you have worked to overcome this challenge?

The biggest challenge is helping the community see the benefits of music programs. I make sure my band performs in our community for multiple events throughout the year so that we are visible.

How do you advocate for your program?

I speak positively about our music programs any time I am in public. Also, we advertise our performances as much as possible so our community is aware of our activities. Finally, we collaborate with our feeder elementary schools and high school as much as possible.

What is one piece of advice you would give to beginning teachers?

Stay positive! You will have good and bad days but always look for one thing that goes well each day. Celebrate the small achievements.

How do you build relationships with students and parents?

I send weekly newsletters via Smore to keep everyone informed. Also, I email and call parents regularly to inform them about their child’s progress. Finally, I make sure that I ask students about their weekends, discuss their extra-curricular activities, and let them know that I care about them as a person. Having meaningful conversations is the best way for me to form relationships.