Jennifer Holman

Augusta Circle Elementary

 

1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?

As an elementary school assistant administrator, my day begins with greeting students each morning from the bus. I help ensure a smooth start to their day by helping in the cafeteria. Once everything is settled from the morning breakfast rush, I move outside to welcome our students who arrive by car, bike, or walking to school. It is important to me to greet our students by name and to also welcome our staff members each morning. After everyone arrives, I help with our student-led morning news show. Then a quick walk around the building to make sure teachers have what they need, students are ready to learn, and the space is safe means it is time continue my day. I absolutely love that from there, every day is different for me. I am a person who lives by my paper calendar but can adjust to whatever comes up in a split second. Typically you can find me doing instructional observations in classrooms, having academic coaching conversations with students, meeting with teachers, planning with our leadership team, and assisting wherever needed to keep our school running smoothly.

2.)  What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?

 

As educators, it is our job to make sure all students have the support they need to reach their full potential in our school so that they can leave us ready for the next step in life.

3.) Why did you become an educator?

 

I became an educator because I truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. I was blessed with many teachers throughout my own education who took the time to help me personally succeed. Without their support, I would not be where I am today. I do not take that for granted. I hope that from my career, I have and can continue to do the same for the students and teachers I have the privilege to serve.

4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?

 

During my time as an educator, from being a classroom teacher, to a curriculum coach, and now an administrator, I have realized more and more how important it is to make sure we are meeting the needs of the whole child. I appreciate SCASCD’s commitment to the whole child. I am hoping that as an SCASCD Emerging Leader, I can help support these efforts not only in my local school and district, but also for our state. It is important that we all work together to see this happen. 

 

5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?

 

I have been lucky to participate in several meaningful professional development opportunities already in my career. Two that have made the greatest impact on me as a leader include Greenville County Schools’ Aspiring Principal Institute (API) and the South Carolina State Department of Education’s Assistant Principal Program for Leadership Excellence (APPLE Program). From those experiences I have become more knowledgeable about the role of administration and how to be an effective school leader. I am honored to have the opportunity now to continue to grow as an SCASCD Emerging Leader. I look forward to collaborating with other educational leaders from across our state. Beyond such professional development opportunities as these, I also enjoy learning from professional reading and professional social media outlets to stay current on best practices and how to meet the needs of our students.

6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.   

 

There have been so many moments in my educational career where I have been validated as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Each and every time it happens, I am appreciative for the opportunity to serve my community. The moments that mean the most to me are when students, parents, or even community members comment on the success they have felt or witnessed from the work I have supported in our schools. I hope to continue to positively impact the lives of our students.

7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?

 

Education is an ever evolving role in our society. In the last few months, all educators were tasked with something we never saw coming with COVID-19. During this time of unknown, I want to make sure our students and teachers are fully supported. I’m hoping that from this, we will be able to figure out what assessments are truly needed and from there we can give back time to our teachers to be able to educate our students instead of having to prepare for and administer so many mandated assessments.

 

8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?

 

The most rewarding experience for me as an educator is to see students be successful in life. Recently I had the opportunity to read over the names of graduating seniors from the district where I last worked. As I came across names of students I recognized from my own time as a classroom teacher, I was taken back to my second and fifth grade classrooms where I had the honor of teaching those students. Remembering each of those students and who they were then, their personalities, needs, and strengths as individuals made me feel proud to see that they had completed high school. I found it rewarding to know that I had a small part in their life story and I cannot wait to see what is in store for them next. As I continue to watch the growth of the students I serve now as an administrator, I know that they too will one day be graduating from high school and moving ahead with life. I will continue to work each day to support our students to the best of my ability, doing whatever it takes, to help them be successful.

Eight Questions For SCASCD Emerging Leaders

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