Robert Hammitt, History Teacher, Canby High School, Canby, Oregon
Nominated by Ana Robles (former student)
Mr. Hammitt is an amazing person. He has been an inspiring teacher to many students. A few months ago he got very sick and had to leave teaching for a few months. Even though he was out sick and unable to do much, he still kept up with his students in class, and if you have him on social media, he is always teaching there as well. He puts daily updates on memorable history things that happen on that day. I haven't been to his class since I graduated in 2009, but I'm still learning from him every day. I'm amazed at his willingness to keep on fighting and keep on going so he can go back to teach. His dedication is truly inspiring
Congrats, Robert, from all of us at K103! Get to know Robert Hammitt:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I was really fortunate to have a lot of great teachers and coaches, including several in my family. I saw the positive influence you could have on young people, while at the same time having a enjoyable career. Also, seeing “Dead Poets Society.” I loved the energy and enthusiasm that the Robin Williams character taught with, and that looked like something that would be really rewarding.
What do you like most about teaching?
The enthusiasm and energy of the students. Anyone who gets to work with enjoyable people every day is lucky. I’ve been really, really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a ton of great human beings.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
I think kids continue to become kinder, more tolerant, socially conscious, and active kids with each year. I’m amazed by the number of students who do volunteer work locally, and travel all over the world to do some really great things. They are often my teacher and inspiration.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
Parents and family are really the most important piece in the educational process. When parents speak positively of education, teachers, and offer encouragement and guidance; kids generally do well. We really appreciate those parents who stress the importance of excellent attendance to their kids. Parents who talk to their kids about assignments, help them study for tests, and are generally present are really valued and appreciated by those who work in school buildings.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
There are so many funny things that have happened, it is hard to pick just one, but I’ll try. A few years ago a really smart, kind, and pretty quiet girl stayed after class to talk to me. I could tell she was uncomfortable from the start. She said, “Mr. Hammitt……my parents split up a few years ago. I’m always talking to each of them about what a good guy you are. Ever since my dad got divorced, he has had trouble meeting anybody new. I was wondering…..would you be my dad’s wing man? Would you go out with my dad to help him meet ladies?” I was really, really flattered, but I declined and told her that her dad could do a lot better than me.