Congratulations to Jairus Hallums for being selected as the 2021 Teacher of the Year for Shiloh Middle School!

Mr. Hallums was a GaTAPP candidate with Metro RESA and is now in his fourth year teaching 8th Grade ELA at Shiloh MS. The relationships Mr. Hallums has formed with other teachers, mentors, and district employees have provided a strong support system and encouraged him to dig even deeper. After just a couple years in the classroom, Mr. Hallums became a content lead last year. He also leads ELA bootcamps at the district level. These experiences have challenged Mr. Hallums to continually grow and become more comfortable in leadership roles.

Mr. Hallums began his teaching career after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English, then he attended Seminary for his Master’s. He worked as a Youth Minister before deciding to shift his career to the classroom. Mr. Hallums’ family, friends and other teachers always told him he would make a great teacher. While a GATapp candidate with MetroRESA, his supervisor was a huge support in guiding him through the process and helping him confirm this career move.

Q&A with Jairus Hallums

What is one of your favorite success stories during your time teaching?

Using Literacy Circles has been very successful in the classroom. These literacy circles are fashioned after literary societies of the past where students discuss ideas together. Even when they disagree, they learn to appropriately discuss and talk through their ideas. The literacy circles help students understand that ELA is about more than the text; they are seeing the benefit of sharing life with someone else as they communicate about the text.

Even this year as we are both in-person and virtual simultaneously, we are able to use literacy circles to be intentional and purposeful in keeping human to human connection.

What advice do you have for new teachers?

Oh, that’s a book! Learn all you can. Remain teachable. The more we learn, the more we can give. Metro RESA was a great asset. All of the official lessons and the unofficial lessons I learned helped me get me to this point. Keep learning beyond the resources they give you. Be patient with yourself. It’s okay to mess up. The kids actually appreciate it when you’re honest.

Metro RESA is so proud of Mr. Hallums and this huge award! We are honored to have played a small part in his training, and we look forward to following his continued achievements.