SOLID GREEN Teacher Feature – Nicole Holmes

Story by Jen Jordan / August 1, 2023

Which MSS campus do you teach at?

Meeting Street – Brentwood

Why did you decide to be a teacher?

I began my career journey as a fresh college graduate that was hired as a kindergarten teacher assistant. I honestly thought I would be “passing through,” as I thought my career path would be different. I fell in love with the idea of shaping young minds and I enjoyed seeing a small child come into my classroom fearful on the first day, barely knowing their letters, to an excited student reading by the end of the year. My principal, at the time, saw a light in me that I didn’t even see and she nurtured me and encouraged me to continue educating our future. It’s been a love that I have not been able to let go of.

Why do you choose to stay in the classroom?

My students are why I keep coming back. I love to see them grow into their potential. I love that child that comes into my classroom needing to be loved and nurtured. I love the idea of imparting wisdom, even into the smallest minds. A former student I taught 18 years ago now works alongside me as a PreK teacher. She makes me feel like this career that chose me, was a perfect fit. I love remembering her as a 5 year old and now seeing her with her own students. Life has gone full circle. I want to continue being that to so many others along my journey as a teacher.

What is the most challenging part of being a teacher?

Honestly, it’s when a child is struggling or not being successful in my class. It’s my job and reason for coming to work everyday. If a child is not making their necessary gains I feel I have failed. It’s a hard job every single day.

What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?

Making connections with families and students. I love when a relationship is developed with my students parents. I know that if we are on the same page my relationship with the child will blossom.

Why did you choose to teach at Meeting Street Schools?

My daughter started Pre-k4 at Meeting Street and the joy she came home with everyday peaked my interest. Having worked in other schools for years I knew there was something different happening at Meeting Street and I needed to know what it was. I visited, as a parent, multiple times and I saw how kids as young as 4 were being given educational opportunities other PreK programs were not offering. My daughter was reading by the time she left PreK 4. She was excited to go to school everyday and she was being exposed to topics that even I was uneducated on, like the first black ballerina.

If you were to write a letter to yourself during your first year of teaching giving yourself advice, what would you say?

I would tell myself, everyday won’t be challenging. You can do hard things. Don’t be afraid to step into positions and spaces that may seem beyond your imagination. Continue to trust in God and believe in yourself. Your gifts will make room for you!

 

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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.

CommunityVoices

  • 1/3

“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent

  • 2/3

“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

  • 3/3

“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher