Take your time: Holmes helps students seize the day

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Jeff Holmes (right) became a substitute teacher to give back to the school system that educated his three sons.

When Jeff Holmes is in the classroom, students are in good hands. Holmes loves life as a prolific substitute teacher with Fayette County Public Schools, striving to help students make the most of their time.

After retiring from the corporate world, Holmes found his way into the education field. He originally worked at Starr’s Mill High with the school resource officer, helping with safety oversight. In 2018 he became a substitute teacher with a run in the middle as a Mutli-Tiered System of Supports paraprofessional at Peeples Elementary.

He keeps a busy schedule in a role he likes to call visiting instructor.

“Teachers are very special people who are highly trained at what they do, and, in my opinion, there’s no true substitute for a teacher who actually has been placed in that job.”

Working as a substitute teacher helps Holmes give back to the school system that has meant so much to his family. His wife was a parapro at North Fayette Elementary for 10 years, and they put three sons through the school system, from North Fayette to Flat Rock Middle to Sandy Creek High. Their education here helped set the table for college where they each graduated from Georgia Southern with honors, taking commissions in the US Army as officers.

He wants to repay the love poured into his kids from so many teachers and help new students feel respected and challenged.

“My why is the impact that I’ve seen.”

He eagerly picks out a schedule where he can focus on his favorite subjects like language arts, history, social studies, math, foreign language, orchestra, and chorus. Choosing your own workload is one of the best perks of being a substitute.

Most of all, he loves building relationships, both with students and with the schools he frequents.

“It’s that comfort level of being welcomed, of being trusted with the safety and security of the children, and with the teachers who know that know that I am going to follow their plans the very best that I can.”

He likes to break the ice with students with a riddle, asking them what is the key non-renewable, non-recoverable resource they all can offer. The answer is time, and Holmes wants them to understand how important it is to use it to its fullest extent.

“The guarantee that I make to the students is how you spend your time will determine what you become, what you’ll be known for, and the impact that you will make on the world.”

Holmes encourages students to be curious, ask questions, connect dots, and be courteous. School is the perfect time to ask all the questions you have and get clarity. It unlocks an unshakable confidence within.

“The product that we provide to you here is the best education you can get in the United States of America. You’re our customer, and your only job is to absorb what is being provided.”

 

Make a difference in the lives of students and be a substitute teacher. Interested persons can apply online at www.fcboe.org by clicking “Position Openings” under “Quick Links.”

“The Honor Role,” an official podcast for Fayette County Public Schools, features employees, rotating through key stakeholders, including teachers, staff, nurses, custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers. Join us as we dive in and learn about their journeys, their inspirations, and their whys.

Episodes are available on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and promoted on the social media channels of Fayette County Public Schools.

Episodes will also be available here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2200811.