Randy Mott, Pleasant Grove Jr. High

Jan 8, 2019, 4:05 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2021, 6:10 am
...

The following was submitted by Koda Wagstaff.

“Mr. Mott is one of the most influential people in my life right now. He has taught me how to reach my full potential while also introducing the blessing of music into my life. But not only has he taught me the value of music. He has given our classes several life lessons and ideas to be a better person. A main idea of his is that if the students can learn something themselves, he’ll challenge us to form groups or find an answer ourselves, which has really allowed our class grow and develop an iron bond of teamwork that can’t be dissolved. Almost every class he’ll ask us a question, and expect an answer. Now, these are not easy questions. Sometimes while we are rehearsing a song, he will stop the song and ask what error he stopped for. Sometimes its obvious, but other times it’s crazy difficult. I believe that if everyone adopted his style of teaching, children would actually have to try in some classes. (not saying that no one else teaches like this, but you get it)

I know how passionate he is about our learning. I have also never seen him get tired or bored or sick of teaching. In fact, I think the only time he mentioned it was when he was telling a story about how he was getting sick of the grading system and how it almost got him to quit due to how horribly limiting it is. He removed the grading system from his classes, so we always get an automatic A. This may sound lazy, but it’s actually a very difficult thing to due. If you can just push paper assignments out and assign a number to them based on how well you did, then it becomes very easy to just let the papers teach or determine how well you taught by looking at grades. But if you remove grades, then that just shows how brave you are to trust your own students and allow them to learn at their own pace. You have to work twice as hard to keep peoples attention, since most kids at our school have the mindset of “If I get an B-, then that’s passing, so I don’t need to do any assignments at the end of the term.” This mindset limits knowledge of a subject and makes you forget it much easier. So having the courage to drop grades is very strong of him.

Mr. Mott is also a very humble guy. After a concert, he gets a lot of compliments. The class period after the concert, he always makes sure to say that the compliments should be directed towards us, not him, because he says that we’re the ones that do all the work. He strongly believes that all of us are the people that make this happen/all of us are the ones who practiced and decided to stay involved and continued to learn. And while that’s true, without him we would have never gotten to our level of skill that we’re at today. He is not only a great teacher, but a great person at heart.

Mr. Mott isn’t boring though. He’s always telling us stories of past concerts (he has a lot, considering he’s been teaching for I think 20+ years). He’s seen things go wrong and things go right, and he isn’t afraid to share his failures with the class. He is also an AVID VW bus fan, and at the end of the year when we’re all outside for about an hour on yearbook day, he plays music in his bus and encourages pictures. (almost all of the puzzles he puts down for us to work on during our breaks are VW themed). He hasn’t told us too much about them, but he’s played in a bunch of gigs as a drummer, and tells us some of those stories as well. A big thing about Mr. Mott is that his ideas are always so unique (in a good way!) and they just further excite his amazing personality.

One more kind of half thought (although it’s kind of bragging on his behalf), is how many kids he teaches at once. This is a breakdown of his classes:
-Beginning Band: Starts w/ 2 separate classes, Woodwinds and Brass, semester change unites them into Cadet Band. 2017-18 year has about 70 students in Cadet (And it’s 70 7th graders *shudders*)
-Beginning Percussion: 2017-18 year had about 50 kids, all hitting/shaking/smacking things to make noise (also 7th graders)
-Concert Band: 17-18 year had about 35-40, just the next step from Beginning (some kids are 7th, but most are 8th)
-Advanced Percussion: 2017-18 year had about 20-30 kids (8th and 9th grade)
-Symphonic Band: 17-18 year had about 45 kids, we have our own percussion(9th grade, some 8th)(this is what i’m in)
-Jazz Band: A before school class that’s only jazz instruments (no clarinet, french horns, tuba, etc.) About 15 kids(9th, 8th)
-Steel Drums: You’re not gonna see this class anywhere else really, lead, double, triple, and bass pans are used. About 15 kids(9th/8th) (also in this)

Overall, Mr. Mott is the best teacher I’ve met so far, and I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this nomination than him. He’s not a perfect teacher, but he’s close enough to satisfy me. He can be a bit intense sometimes, but that just makes him more likable. I think I’ve said enough about him, so I hope you consider this amazing teacher. And I’m sorry if this is a bit scatterbrained, I typed this pretty quickly and some words may stick out. Thanks for doing this, you’re helping teachers remember that they’re work is helping children all across the world.”

Today’s Top Stories

A screenshot of a facebook post made to the parents of Macie Hill....
Mark Jones

Father of girl who died in Kaysville parade is thankful for those who helped

An 8-year-old girl died Monday in an accident during the Kaysville Fourth of July Parade. Her father is thankful for all who assisted his daughter.
1 day ago
break car window dog...
Mark Jones

Dog dies after being left in hot car for more than an hour

A dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car for more than an hour, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
1 day ago
A house in Spanish Fork was on fire late Monday night....
Mark Jones

Spanish Fork house catches fire after fireworks not properly extinguished

Officials said a house fire in Spanish Fork was a result of recently used fireworks not being disposed of properly. No serious injuries were reported.
1 day ago
Utah Highway Patrol stopped 4,937 vehicles over the Fourth of July weekend....
Mark Jones

Busy Fourth of July weekend for Utah Highway Patrol

In statistics released Tuesday, the Utah Highway Patrol says its Troopers made contact with 4,937 drivers over the Fourth of July weekend, making it a busy one.
1 day ago
Utah County Sheriff's Office badge....
Mark Jones

As one blaze is nearly contained, new Soldier Fire starts up

The Soldier Fire started up Tuesday in Utah County. According to Utah Fire Info, the blaze is near Highway 68 at milepost 15.
1 day ago
Cornelis Frederik Bogslag, the missing South Salt Lake man...
Samantha Herrera

Anonymous donor offers $50K to help find missing South Salt Lake man

The South Salt Lake Police Department announced an anonymous donor would offer $50K to anyone that provides information that helps locate a missing South Salt Lake man.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.