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Celebrating our substitute teachers

Mr. Glenn Lewis On the final day of American Education Week, we take time to appreciate the great substitute teachers in our district.

Substitutes are patient and flexible staff members who ensure students receive a quality education each day. Metro Schools is home to many dedicated substitutes, but we are always looking for talented individuals to join our team.

This week we had the opportunity to get to know Mr. Clifton Lewis, a busy Metro Schools substitute teacher who shared his personal motivation for working in schools.

Clifton Lewis was a corporal in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, a certified teacher, a two-time Teacher of the Year and now he can add Metro Schools substitute teacher to his long list of accomplishments. Mr. Lewis taught in Metro Schools for 38 years before he retired in 2007.

His retirement didn’t last long. The next year he returned to Metro Schools as a substitute teacher. Mr. Lewis’ return stems from his love of teaching and the joy he feels when working with young people. He is an early riser who enjoys filling his days with work and purpose, another reason substitute teaching appeals to him.

This year, he has worked every day. Just in these last two weeks he taught at Meigs Academic Magnet Middle Prep, Hunters Lane High School and Haynes Middle Prep.

“These schools are filled with nice children who greet me in the hallway by name,” said Mr. Lewis. “I really do enjoy being in the schools again and working with the students.”

Over the years he has seen a few surprising changes in students, including an elevated interest in reading. He says as a substitute he has noticed that instead of drawing or talking with friends during a break, students read. “I have never seen so many children reading,” Mr. Lewis said, “and writing, they sure do love to read and write, even in their free time!”

He also notices an increase in the use of libraries. Students do not just visit libraries for a quick book check-out, but now spend time to learn about all of the resources they have to offer. Students are discovering how to write and cite high level research papers and using libraries as their learning center to do so. Mr. Lewis sees progress in all aspects.

“I have yet to see a teacher or principal not trying to improve their schools,” he said. “Even in low performing schools they are doing everything in their power to support and encourage students to improve their behavior and academic performance.”

Thank you for all of your service Mr. Lewis, in and out of our schools!

To become a Metro Schools substitute teacher, click here.