Year: 2017 – Province: Nova Scotia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Musquodoboit Rural High School
11980 Hwy 224
Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia B0N 1X0
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 8 and 9, Science, Math
Dropping eggs from the height of the school roof, measuring trees and running as fast as they can – in a small school in rural Nova Scotia, students regularly find themselves astounded at how much better they are able to understand a lesson when they get to use their hands or even their feet to solve problems. Together they now say, "It's Hammer time", as they are inspired by a math teacher who literally runs an extra mile to show them that math skills are useful in the real world.
Hammer looks for ways to adapt his teaching to each student individually, which helps students enjoy their time in the classroom. Always looking for a hands-on approach, he embraces daily teachable moments to make lessons exciting and relevant, and to show students that math and science skills are actually useful in the real world.
- Organized a student-run project coordinated by The Learning Partnership called the "Entrepreneurial Adventure Program", in which students created their own Android and iPhone applications to facilitate communication with parents and the community.
- Seeing a gap when it came to hands-on learning in math and science, Hammer created a lab curriculum for each unit of his classes, teaching lab procedures, safety and reporting.
- Co-led the organization of Science Olympics – a day of activities and challenges for the whole school that culminated in an awards ceremony.
"Mr. Hammer never gives up on you. If you don't understand something he will go home every night to figure out ten different ways of explaining or showing it in a way you'll understand. He never stops trying until you get it."
"Building relationships with students is part of teaching best practices, but with Mr. Hammer, he raises the bar to a whole new level. Being a good teacher requires more than simply caring about students; a teacher has to be able to ensure his practices result in student learning. Mr. Hammer meets and exceeds this benchmark."