How Mr. Schmidt Became the #1 Most Liked Teacher at SPASH


Mr. Schmitt at work with the band

Frank Hagen, Hour 1

I thought I was going to be done with band after 9th grade. I was getting older, and none of my friends were doing it next year; it just didn’t fit into my schedule. Next year as a sophomore, I didn’t miss being in band, but I kept hearing one name. Bradley Schmidt is the current band director here at SPASH, and he has been working with the band since 1989. He has grown somewhat of a cult following in the past years, and his popularity is what made me join the band again. Many consider him to be their favorite teacher because of how easy he is to talk to and how dedicated he is to everyone in the band. He is loved by his students for his friendly personality, and he stands out because of his interest in many different things.

Mr. Schmidt is Very Easy to Talk to

One of the most noticeable things about Mr. Schmidt’s character is his ability to talk to anyone because of his interests in a lot of things. One member of the SPASH Wind Ensemble, Liam Cherkauer, told a story about a time he brought a guitar amp into class.  “So I bring it in, and as soon as George brings it through the door Mr. Schmidt is drooling over it. He was so excited about it being a Peavey… I was like, ‘I have no clue how you know about peavey, but cool, because I like them too.’” . Based on this evidence, you can see that students are pleasantly surprised when Mr. Schmidt can relate to them, and it makes them feel a stronger connection to him and appreciate him more. Tate Bruckhart, a senior on the SPASH Wind Ensemble, also stated, “He always asks about how cross country meets go and about the workouts.” In my interview with Tate I was shocked to find out that Mr. Schmidt was at one time an assistant coach to the SPASH cross country team. This further shows the extent of Mr. Schmidts interests and experience, and it illustrates the interest he has when interacting with students.

Mr. Schmidt Puts Visible Effort into His Classes and His Students

The big difference between Mr. Schmidt and most other teachers is the effor they put into their students. This is not just on a student level, but on a classroom level as well. “You can be easily really negative, and so I always try to come at it like, ‘Hey we need to do this,’ like always more of a “we” … I try and come at it from a collective point of view and a positive point of view.” This gives us some insight on the mindset of Mr. Schmidt while he teaches, and how he is constantly trying to approach things at the best possible angle for learning and growth. When asked about his thoughts on Mr. Schmidt, Bruckhart responded, “He’s a nice guy, [and] he puts a lot of thought into the music. He puts in effort with the students, and will help them get their instrument repaired.” Bruckhart went on to explain how Mr. Schmidt will try to get a student’s instrument fixed at school, and if that’s not possible he will give them directions to get it fixed outside of class. This is a great example of Mr. Schmidt’s dedication to his class and his students individually. 

Is Mr. Schmidt the Same Outside of Class?

A lot of people might assume that Mr. Schmidt is somewhat like many other teachers in that he is very social during class, but does not try to connect with his students outside of school. Libby Thompson, a member of the SPASH Wind Ensemble said otherwise when she talked about a time she experienced with Mr. Schmidt after an event. “I helped him  load up instruments after the homecoming parade, and it was super chaotic, and he told stories about his, you know, parade experience the entire way back, and it was both lengthy and slightly entertaining.” From this quote we can see Mr. Schmidt’s willingness to connect with his students outside of the designated class period. He is also looking after students extra-curricular opportunities. This year, the band is going to New Orleans in the spring, and not all students have enough money to pay for the trip. Mr. Schmidt showed care and commitment to Tate Bruckhart by offering a job opportunity to help pay for his trip. 

So in conclusion, the reason Mr. Schmidt is so widely talked about and praised by his students is his connection to them as a result of the time he puts into helping them and building relationships with them. Mr. Schmidt is a great guy to talk to, and you will always find him telling stories about interesting things that have happened to him. His stories help him grow connections with his students, and the connection grows the more they talk to him, which makes the band better as a whole. The effort Mr. Schmidt puts in to get to know every student is a step ahead of most other teachers, and his dedication to helping everyone get better together is second to none.