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Substitute Teachers Make a Difference
Substitute Teachers Make a Difference
Posted on 01/04/2021
On a Thursday afternoon last semester, Ms. Kimberly Plemmons moved among masked and safely spaced students at Erwin Middle, sharing stories while checking their assignment progress.As BCS moves back to a modified Return to Learn Plan B, substitute teachers are needed to cover in-person classes. No special knowledge of online management systems is needed. BCS offers monthly training and has numerous safety protocols in place during COVID-19. Visit BuncombeSchools.org/substitute, and start making a difference today!

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

On a Thursday afternoon last semester, Ms. Kimberly Plemmons moved among masked and safely spaced students at Erwin Middle, sharing stories while checking their assignment progress.

“I’m helping kids one-on-one to get caught up on their classwork,” she said. “They need pats on the back and encouragement. Being able to develop a relationship is huge.”

A retired banker, Ms. Plemmons spends many days each year as a substitute teacher in the Erwin District of Buncombe County Schools (BCS). The students call her ‘Momma K.’ They appreciate her consistency and realistic expectations. The fast-paced banking world honed her managerial and organizational skills. Now the classroom lets them shine again.

“I wanted to do something meaningful, make a difference, even if it was just one kid,” she said. “So I signed up for the substitute teacher workshop, and I loved it even more than I thought I would. I’ve gotten to meet so many kids and hear so many stories.”

Substitute teachers come from all walks of life. Some are retired teachers or those interested in the teaching profession. Many are parents and vested community members. What they all have is a heart of service and a desire to see students succeed.

Mr. Jack McMahan helps a student during art class at Charles D. Owen High School. “So much of what you are as a person is what you give back to the community,” said Mr. Jack McMahan, a retired BCS teacher who subs in the Owen District. “As a retired teacher, that doesn’t go away. It’s still a part of me. I think most of us are like that.”

Substitute teaching can be a fun experience, he added. Subs make their own schedules and can teach in a variety of settings – from elementary physical education to high school art. Teachers typically create lesson plans for substitutes, and other teachers in professional learning communities help subs step in for a successful school day.

“You show up at a door at 7:30 in the morning, and there’s usually several teachers who offer to help you with anything you need,” Mr. McMahan said. “I really enjoy it. It allows me to go back into the classroom while being flexible with my own schedule. If I was doing something part time somewhere else, I would still be beholden to the schedule. I determine when I can and cannot work.”

As BCS moves back to a modified Return to Learn Plan B, substitute teachers are needed to cover in-person classes. No special knowledge of online management systems is needed. BCS offers monthly training and has numerous safety protocols in place during COVID-19. Visit BuncombeSchools.org/substitute, and start making a difference today!

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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