Teacher goes above and beyond to help students


Phillip Hamilton helps junior Tara Logan prepare for the upcoming June ACT.

Kelsea Burns, Opinion Editor

Many De Soto High School staff members could call teaching their passion. However, English teacher Phillip Hamilton takes that to a new extreme.

Hamilton teaches Advanced Placement Language and Composition, ACT Prep, senior grade-level English, Creative Writing One and Creative Writing Two. He greatly enjoys the opportunites that teaching these classes gives him, specifically the opportunity to interact with students and have a positive impact on them.

“I have an opportunity to work with young people and to help them set up their future,” Hamilton said. “That’s really cool. I get the chance to help people get better at their reading and writing, and that’s useful for everybody. I get the chance in ACT class, AP Language and Comp, and 12th grade English to help people with their college experience and setting themselves up for success in the future, which is very important to me.”

Hamilton has enjoyed teaching others since he was very young.

“When I was in elementary school, I was always worried about the kids who couldn’t read well,” Hamilton said. “My mother would ask me how school was in the first grade, and what I did that day, and I told her about all of the kids who did poorly at read-alouds and all of the problems that they had when they were reading. I always wanted to help people with their education.”

Hamilton spends a lot of time devoted to helping his students outside of school. He estimates that he spends between 50 to 60 hours per week if he counts his Scholars Bowl coaching.

“I want to make sure that every kid has the best opportunity to learn to read and write better. In order to do that, I need to sit down with them, one-on-one sometimes, work through a draft and help them through a draft. I need to help them with an assignment, or help them prepare for a test, or help them with the ACT,” Hamilton said. “So, for me, that extra work is necessary to do my job effectively. The reason I put in so much time and effort is because I want to be good at what I do. That takes time. It wouldn’t be worth doing if it didn’t take any work.”

Hamilton has also recently taken the opportunity to help junior Kelly DeBrabander through homebound tutoring. DeBrabander was unable to attend school after a sports injury, so Hamilton offered to tutor DeBrabander at her house after school.

“He got all of my homework together and brought it to me. I was so stressed because I was a good three weeks behind, and I thought I was going to fail the semester,” DeBrabander said. “So, he came and got me on a schedule. There were some weeks that he would come four times, and we would meet day after day. That was the best because within two weeks, I was just a week behind. He was so helpful.”

Hamilton has helped DeBrabander prior to her injury as well.

“I‘m dyslexic so a couple times I would go to him after class for grammar stuff because grammar is my biggest weakness,” DeBrabander.

DeBrabander claims that Hamilton  is more helpful than many other DHS teachers.

“I feel like in general he gives a lot more effort compared to other teachers,” DeBrabander said. “I’m actually learning something from this person instead of watching a new video every class.”

Hamilton also sees teaching as more than just a job.

“It’s my calling, and it’s a blessing,” Hamilton said. “I’m teaching my dream job right now.”