Teaching a life-long affair

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Cecil Hamilton cannot honestly say what drew him to teaching at 20 years of age, but after 55 consecutive years in the profession, he quickly confides, "I have no regrets."

The longtime Strabane resident is the Flamborough Review's Teacher of the Month, an honour for which he was nominated by his daughter, Susan, also a teacher.

"I am the teacher I am today because of the guidance and support my dad has always given me," the Burlington mother of three said. "I have always looked up to my father and am very proud of his accomplishments." Those accomplishments and contributions are many.

Educated in a two-room school in Strabane up until the end of Grade 10, he attended Normal School in Hamilton before accepting his first teaching assignment in 1950 at the one-room school on Brock Road known as SS #2. Built about 1892, the school was very drafty, which led to many "severe headcolds." Hamilton remembers being "very tired" during his early years of teaching and candidly admits, "As a young teacher, there was so much I didn't know."

But he maintains the children taught him a lot. "It was never easy because the demands of the role (of teacher) were many and changing," just as they are today, he observed.

In 1953, a new two-room brick school called Brockview School was opened and Hamilton became its principal. From there, he went on to serve as principal at three Dundas schools, Central, University Gardens and Dundana. He was a junior consultant for the entire county while still principal of Dundana.

He later worked out of the area office as the lone consultant for the county before going to Beverly Central School near Westover where he was principal for 14 years before retiring in 1985.

But retirement didn't last long. Hamilton volunteered to work in a kindergarten class at Millgrove Public School, was involved with Science Fairs and judged public-speaking contests before being hired in 1989 to teach student teachers at the Faculty of Education for Brock University. He continues to work as a part-time teacher at Brock's campus in Hamilton today.

From the start, Hamilton said he never thought teaching would be easy. That assessment proved to be right, but he has never regretted choosing a career in teaching.

"It's wonderful knowing that I have helped children to grow, change and think," he said. "One of the greatest joys I have experienced is seeing children when they suddenly figure out what this thing called reading is. It connects and empowers them."

To this day, Hamilton enjoys reading to children and regularly volunteers to go to area schools to promote literacy through reading.

"If they ask me, I'll go," he said. "And I don't charge."

Hamilton is also no stranger to volunteer work in the community. He has volunteered at Westfield Heritage Village since 1989 and, as a costumed interpreter, assists in educating visitors at the site.

He is an associate director of the Rockton Agricultural Society and a member of its School Fair Committee as well as chairman of its Spelling Bee. He is also a member of the Agriculture Education Committee that provides a program for Grade 4 students at the fair.

He is a steward at Strabane United Church, where he and his wife, Gladys, spearheaded monthly village luncheons four years ago. He has also tried his hand at amateur theatre, has co-authored a book for teachers and hopes one day to write a children's book as well as a history of Strabane.

Teaching, however, remains his first love. "It is a real pleasure to meet people who come up to me and say, 'Hello Mr. Hamilton, I was in your school or I took such and such a course with you.'"

As Teacher of the Month, Hamilton received a coffee mug and a $35 gift certificate from Pizza Hut in Waterdown that he plans to share with his student teachers.

Teaching a life-long affair

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Cecil Hamilton cannot honestly say what drew him to teaching at 20 years of age, but after 55 consecutive years in the profession, he quickly confides, "I have no regrets."

The longtime Strabane resident is the Flamborough Review's Teacher of the Month, an honour for which he was nominated by his daughter, Susan, also a teacher.

"I am the teacher I am today because of the guidance and support my dad has always given me," the Burlington mother of three said. "I have always looked up to my father and am very proud of his accomplishments." Those accomplishments and contributions are many.

Educated in a two-room school in Strabane up until the end of Grade 10, he attended Normal School in Hamilton before accepting his first teaching assignment in 1950 at the one-room school on Brock Road known as SS #2. Built about 1892, the school was very drafty, which led to many "severe headcolds." Hamilton remembers being "very tired" during his early years of teaching and candidly admits, "As a young teacher, there was so much I didn't know."

But he maintains the children taught him a lot. "It was never easy because the demands of the role (of teacher) were many and changing," just as they are today, he observed.

In 1953, a new two-room brick school called Brockview School was opened and Hamilton became its principal. From there, he went on to serve as principal at three Dundas schools, Central, University Gardens and Dundana. He was a junior consultant for the entire county while still principal of Dundana.

He later worked out of the area office as the lone consultant for the county before going to Beverly Central School near Westover where he was principal for 14 years before retiring in 1985.

But retirement didn't last long. Hamilton volunteered to work in a kindergarten class at Millgrove Public School, was involved with Science Fairs and judged public-speaking contests before being hired in 1989 to teach student teachers at the Faculty of Education for Brock University. He continues to work as a part-time teacher at Brock's campus in Hamilton today.

From the start, Hamilton said he never thought teaching would be easy. That assessment proved to be right, but he has never regretted choosing a career in teaching.

"It's wonderful knowing that I have helped children to grow, change and think," he said. "One of the greatest joys I have experienced is seeing children when they suddenly figure out what this thing called reading is. It connects and empowers them."

To this day, Hamilton enjoys reading to children and regularly volunteers to go to area schools to promote literacy through reading.

"If they ask me, I'll go," he said. "And I don't charge."

Hamilton is also no stranger to volunteer work in the community. He has volunteered at Westfield Heritage Village since 1989 and, as a costumed interpreter, assists in educating visitors at the site.

He is an associate director of the Rockton Agricultural Society and a member of its School Fair Committee as well as chairman of its Spelling Bee. He is also a member of the Agriculture Education Committee that provides a program for Grade 4 students at the fair.

He is a steward at Strabane United Church, where he and his wife, Gladys, spearheaded monthly village luncheons four years ago. He has also tried his hand at amateur theatre, has co-authored a book for teachers and hopes one day to write a children's book as well as a history of Strabane.

Teaching, however, remains his first love. "It is a real pleasure to meet people who come up to me and say, 'Hello Mr. Hamilton, I was in your school or I took such and such a course with you.'"

As Teacher of the Month, Hamilton received a coffee mug and a $35 gift certificate from Pizza Hut in Waterdown that he plans to share with his student teachers.

Teaching a life-long affair

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Cecil Hamilton cannot honestly say what drew him to teaching at 20 years of age, but after 55 consecutive years in the profession, he quickly confides, "I have no regrets."

The longtime Strabane resident is the Flamborough Review's Teacher of the Month, an honour for which he was nominated by his daughter, Susan, also a teacher.

"I am the teacher I am today because of the guidance and support my dad has always given me," the Burlington mother of three said. "I have always looked up to my father and am very proud of his accomplishments." Those accomplishments and contributions are many.

Educated in a two-room school in Strabane up until the end of Grade 10, he attended Normal School in Hamilton before accepting his first teaching assignment in 1950 at the one-room school on Brock Road known as SS #2. Built about 1892, the school was very drafty, which led to many "severe headcolds." Hamilton remembers being "very tired" during his early years of teaching and candidly admits, "As a young teacher, there was so much I didn't know."

But he maintains the children taught him a lot. "It was never easy because the demands of the role (of teacher) were many and changing," just as they are today, he observed.

In 1953, a new two-room brick school called Brockview School was opened and Hamilton became its principal. From there, he went on to serve as principal at three Dundas schools, Central, University Gardens and Dundana. He was a junior consultant for the entire county while still principal of Dundana.

He later worked out of the area office as the lone consultant for the county before going to Beverly Central School near Westover where he was principal for 14 years before retiring in 1985.

But retirement didn't last long. Hamilton volunteered to work in a kindergarten class at Millgrove Public School, was involved with Science Fairs and judged public-speaking contests before being hired in 1989 to teach student teachers at the Faculty of Education for Brock University. He continues to work as a part-time teacher at Brock's campus in Hamilton today.

From the start, Hamilton said he never thought teaching would be easy. That assessment proved to be right, but he has never regretted choosing a career in teaching.

"It's wonderful knowing that I have helped children to grow, change and think," he said. "One of the greatest joys I have experienced is seeing children when they suddenly figure out what this thing called reading is. It connects and empowers them."

To this day, Hamilton enjoys reading to children and regularly volunteers to go to area schools to promote literacy through reading.

"If they ask me, I'll go," he said. "And I don't charge."

Hamilton is also no stranger to volunteer work in the community. He has volunteered at Westfield Heritage Village since 1989 and, as a costumed interpreter, assists in educating visitors at the site.

He is an associate director of the Rockton Agricultural Society and a member of its School Fair Committee as well as chairman of its Spelling Bee. He is also a member of the Agriculture Education Committee that provides a program for Grade 4 students at the fair.

He is a steward at Strabane United Church, where he and his wife, Gladys, spearheaded monthly village luncheons four years ago. He has also tried his hand at amateur theatre, has co-authored a book for teachers and hopes one day to write a children's book as well as a history of Strabane.

Teaching, however, remains his first love. "It is a real pleasure to meet people who come up to me and say, 'Hello Mr. Hamilton, I was in your school or I took such and such a course with you.'"

As Teacher of the Month, Hamilton received a coffee mug and a $35 gift certificate from Pizza Hut in Waterdown that he plans to share with his student teachers.