Educator of the Week: James Nesbitt

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s time for this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery. 

Nesbitt Headshot

“Many people like to ask me, ‘Mr. Nesbitt, when are you going to retire?’” And I just laugh and say, ‘What’s that?’ It’s in my blood,” James Nesbitt said.

Nesbitt has been teaching at Henry County High School for over 40 years.

He has taught a variety of subjects including physical science, chemistry, physics and math.

Now, Nesbitt teaches a personalized learning program at the school that works with Jackson State Community College.

Students have a variety of choices to pick online classes from. Some of these classes include statistics, English, honors or sociology. 

“I just enjoy all of the subjects. I guess you can say I’m a teaching fanatic,” Nesbitt said.

He says that learning is something that he has always been passionate about, and that he tries to learn something new everyday. 

“Everything that comes your way to teach you something, it makes you a better person, and it equips you to help others to become a better person,” Nesbitt said.

His main passion is teaching. He really enjoys bringing this passion into the classroom and sharing it with the students.

He usually does this by bringing the subjects to life. 

“I really enjoy drama in the classroom. I remember one year that I taught honors chemistry, and all of the students were a part of the atom. He got into a circle and started to act stuff out,” Nesbit recalled. 

Nesbitt says that if he had the chance to go back and give his younger self some advice, he would tell his younger self to be more patient. 

“Sometimes you just want students to learn. You still have to want them to learn, but you have to do it differently. You have to be patient with them and sometimes just back off,” Nesbitt said. 

Nesbitt is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. To vote for him or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week