Hem­ming still 'head of class'

Re­tires af­ter 33 years

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Al­lie Ruck­man

One of Drumheller’s beloved teach­ers is bid­ding farewell to full-time teach­ing.

Lynn Hem­ming has been a teacher that any high school stu­dent, in the past 31 years, of Drumheller Val­ley Sec­ondary School would not for­get.

She has im­pacted stu­dents with more than just teach­ing the bare min­i­mum. She goes above and be­yond by teach­ing stu­dents not only English, but also about life.

Hem­ming re­flects on be­ing a teacher and men­tions some of the highlights.

“Hon­estly, af­ter 33 years there are too many mem­o­ries to name. Some highlights there have been are the great stu­dents. Whether they have been aca­demic stu­dents or strug- gling stu­dents, it doesn’t mat­ter, just some re­ally great kids and great re­la­tion­ships. It is hard to sum­ma­rize 33 years.”

Many stu­dents will re­call their time in Hem­ming’s English 30 class. A time where they were soon to grad­u­ate and leave the familiar.

Stu­dents would walk through

her doors, into a highly dec­o­rated class­room and feel safe and ex­cited to learn.

Hem­ming cre­ated her fa­mous “snack days” ev­ery Fri­day, where stu­dents would bring in a small snack item to share with the class.

This is just one of the tra­di­tions Hem­ming be­gan with her English 30 class.

“Those tra­di­tions have been very good mem­o­ries. If you cre­ate some good, in­ter­est­ing tra­di­tions, they take on a life of their own. Those are lit­tle things that, along the years, have been spe­cial.”

The Mail asked Hem­ming why she thinks these events are so im­por­tant to her stu­dents.

“I think teach­ing is about two things, build­ing re­la­tion­ships and build­ing a com­mu­nity. When a class­room has pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships be­tween the teach­ers and kids, it be­comes a safe place. It is a good place where a class­room be­comes a com­mu­nity of learn­ers and not just in­di­vid­ual peo­ple. It’s not that we learned any­thing from snack days, it’s the fun about be­ing ex­cited about it that builds com­mu­nity.”

Hem­ming’s im­pact on her stu­dents can be seen through out the com­mu­nity.

Kort­ney Gif­fin, a DVSS grad of 2014, owes part of her de­ci­sion of pur­su­ing a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion to Hem­ming.

“She was a great men­tor for me. She was in­stru­men­tal in show­ing dif­fer­ent ways of teach­ing and for un­der­stand­ing that ev­ery stu­dent learns in a dif­fer­ent way. Mrs. Hem­ming played a role in guid­ing me to­wards ed­u­ca­tion and I hope to model her teach­ing meth­ods in my own ca­reer as an ed­u­ca­tor. She will be missed at DVSS,” says the 3rd year, U of A ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent.

Hem­ming not only im­pacted her stu­dents but her col­leagues as well. Cur­tis LaPierre, prin­ci­pal of Drumheller Val­ley Sec­ondary School is sad to see her go.

“I have worked with Lynn Hem­ming for 27 years. We, as a staff, are very ex­cited for her to take on new ad­ven­tures, but also very sad for our­selves, as self­ish as that is. She masters ev­ery­thing she does. She is great with teach­ing English and at coun­selling. She is also a very strong part of the com­mu­nity. She goes over the top of what needs to be done. It is why she is Cit­i­zen of the Year. She has brought so much to this school.”

Hem­ming plans to sub­sti­tute and tu­tor in her time off. She might even vol­un­teer teach­ing chil­dren in Africa.

One thing is for sure, Drumheller Val­ley Sec­ondary School will miss her bright and cheery smile.

mailphoto by Al­lie Ruck­man

Lynn Hem­ming stands next to posters of her heros that have been dis­played in her class­room for years. Af­ter 31 years of teach­ing in Drumheller, Hem­ming is re­tir­ing to take on new projects. She will be greatly missed by her stu­dents and col­leagues.

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