TAKE 5 with EC | Ginny Hammett, EC Teacher at Northern High School
Durham Public Schools is proud to launch Take 5 with EC. This series spotlights our Exceptional Children’s team. Each month, you’ll meet one of our outstanding practitioners and learn a little about their area of focus and how they are helping DPS special needs students excel and thrive. This month, we are pleased to introduce Ginny Hammett, EC Specialist at Northern High School. Learn about Ms. Hammett below.
- Why did you choose a career in special education?
It has always been my belief that everyone has talents and strengths. Everyone has gifts to share. I chose special education because I enjoy working with students, any students. Maybe it’s also because I like to root for the underdog, and I believe some people underestimate the contributions students with disabilities can give.
- Tell us about your daily work in assisting students with disabilities at your school or throughout the district.
Every day I try to meet the students with a smile and encouraging words. Life can be tough and stressful sometimes. They need to know someone is in their corner ready to help them. I enjoy talking to them and asking questions about topics in which they’re the expert because it lets them know it’s ok not to know everything. I want them to see that it’s ok to ask questions when you don’t know something. I meet students in Zooms individually, or I’ll pull them into breakout rooms if they need some extra help. I also am an advocate for them in the general education classrooms. I work with the teachers to make sure my students’ accommodations are understood and met.
- What do you enjoy most about working with our students with disabilities?
I enjoy watching their faces when they realize they can do something. I enjoy sharing the moment when they’ve accomplished something and they’re proud of themselves. I just enjoy each one’s uniqueness.
- Describe your approach to meeting the needs of exceptional students.
Like I said before, everyone has strengths. I like to use what the student already knows to teach a new concept. It’s important to be able to help them make connections between the known and the unknown. By making these connections strong, it makes it easier for them to remember the concept.
- What is one thing you want the DPS community to know about your work and the students you serve?
My students are uniquely the same as any other student. They all have strengths, they all have struggles. They are experts in some areas and learners in others. Every student has unique experiences that make them who they are- and they are all exceptional-I’ve just been blessed to be a small part of it.