Waterdown teacher Rob Flosman receives Governor General's History Award for Teaching Excellence

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Waterdown District High School history teacher Rob Flosman has been named the 2017 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching winner.

Flosman, who will receive the award from Governor General Julie Payette at a ceremony Nov. 22 at Rideau Hall, was one of six in the country to receive the award. He was recognized for his work with the student-run Waterdown Museum of History at WDHS, which has an annual attendance of more than 1,000 visitors.

He said it’s nice to receive the award.

“It’s quite an honour to be honoured that way,” he said of the award. “I was nominated in 2013 and was shortlisted to 25 but I didn’t win.

“I was so happy when I got that.”

However, another visitor to the museum nominated Flosman for this year’s award. He then had to submit a breakdown of the project to the committee.

“For them, the committee, they have no idea what this is,” he said. “They get the application, they don’t know what kind of museum – so you have to be detailed.”

“I submitted what we do here, what the students do,” he said. “They thought it fit their model.

“I’m proud of the students of Waterdown and I’m happy.”

Fellow WDHS history teacher Nathan Tidridge said the award is long overdue to Flosman.

“It basically confirms what all us who have worked with Rob already know – that he is one of the great teachers that this country has produced,” he said. “The museum – there’s nothing like that anywhere else in the country.”

Tidridge said the museum project is extraordinary.

“The engagement that he brings to that school and how he has worked to highlight and preserve all those artifacts,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Flosman said the museum represents a new way of teaching history.

“History, I think, gets lost in rote learning and dates and unfortunately for years and years,” he said. “This is the new history.

“The most important thing is finding the student, finding what their passion is, and allowing them to go in that direction.”

“They learn all this history and staging and art and then they present it to the community,” he said. “I think that’s the greatest vehicle for history we have.”

Flosman said in many cases students have heard family stories that match up with what he teaches them in history class but they never put the two together.

“That’s our job as history teachers,” he said. “They have to try to put themselves in shoes of their great-grandparents and then see Canadian history through the lens of their family history.”

Flosman said he believes the WDHS Museum makes learning history a much richer experience for the students.

“If I give a multiple choice test … it’s hit or miss,” he said. “They take the test, three minutes later, it’s forgotten.

“They put (the museum) on, they will never forget it – so the history stays with them, it’s not something they forget.”

Former student Jon Fenn said Flosman had a huge impact on him.

“I would call him my mentor through the second half of high school,” he said. “I initially wanted to be a teacher just like him and took history in university.”

Although he didn’t end up teaching after studying history at the University of Waterloo, Fenn said Flosman was his inspiration.

“I have always loved history and to meet someone who shared the same interest and tried to instill that in me further, was pretty special,” he said.

Fenn said Flosman is a remarkable teacher who finds a way to make people who aren’t interested in history engaged with the subject.

“I don't think there is a more deserving recipient of this teaching award and I think it is long overdue,” he said.

Former student Samuel Berube said Flosman does a great job of connecting the student with the subject matter.

“A lot of people find history kind of boring, but he makes you able to connect to it,” he said. “He makes his room an exciting place to be.”

Berube added Flosman is a real community builder in the school – and a mentor to a lot of students.

“He’s a person that people love to be around,” he said.

Flosman said he would like to see the museum grow into a full-time location in the community.

“Waterdown has archives – they’re fantastic, they’re amazing,” he said. “But there’s no museum.

“Dundas has a museum, Hamilton has a museum, Burlington has a museum – why doesn’t Waterdown have a museum?” he continued. “One day this will burst – it’s already bursting – where will it go?”

Flosman added the award gives the museum some status.

“This was something that was one of the six best projects in Canada,” he said. “Something like that shows (the students) that this is a special project – this is not just a thing that kids in Oakville and kids in Toronto do.

“It’s a unique experience.”

Tidridge said the museum is “what teaching should be.”

“It’s concrete, it’s real, it’s giving back to the community,” he said. “It draws people, in, it’s living history.

“It connects people who went through those events with teenagers who are designing those exhibits and bringing them to life,” he continued. “It’s bridging that age gap. In teaching history, that’s the goal – you want to be able to make it real and he does that every single day.”

Flosman gave credit to the WDHS students for the award.

“I think it’s clear that the award is our award,” he said of the students. “It’s not one person.

“The students built (the museum) so really it’s our award.”

Tidridge said although Flosman is very modest, those around him want to celebrate him.

“It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate the type of teacher that he is and what he has done for our school and the community,” he said. “He’s amazing – it’s about time he got recognized for what he does.”

Waterdown teacher Rob Flosman receives Governor General's History Award for Teaching Excellence

WDHS history teacher recognized for student-run Waterdown Museum of History

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Waterdown District High School history teacher Rob Flosman has been named the 2017 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching winner.

Flosman, who will receive the award from Governor General Julie Payette at a ceremony Nov. 22 at Rideau Hall, was one of six in the country to receive the award. He was recognized for his work with the student-run Waterdown Museum of History at WDHS, which has an annual attendance of more than 1,000 visitors.

He said it’s nice to receive the award.

“It’s quite an honour to be honoured that way,” he said of the award. “I was nominated in 2013 and was shortlisted to 25 but I didn’t win.

“The most important thing is finding the student, finding what their passion is, and allowing them to go in that direction.”

“I was so happy when I got that.”

However, another visitor to the museum nominated Flosman for this year’s award. He then had to submit a breakdown of the project to the committee.

“For them, the committee, they have no idea what this is,” he said. “They get the application, they don’t know what kind of museum – so you have to be detailed.”

“I submitted what we do here, what the students do,” he said. “They thought it fit their model.

“I’m proud of the students of Waterdown and I’m happy.”

Fellow WDHS history teacher Nathan Tidridge said the award is long overdue to Flosman.

“It basically confirms what all us who have worked with Rob already know – that he is one of the great teachers that this country has produced,” he said. “The museum – there’s nothing like that anywhere else in the country.”

Tidridge said the museum project is extraordinary.

“The engagement that he brings to that school and how he has worked to highlight and preserve all those artifacts,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Flosman said the museum represents a new way of teaching history.

“History, I think, gets lost in rote learning and dates and unfortunately for years and years,” he said. “This is the new history.

“The most important thing is finding the student, finding what their passion is, and allowing them to go in that direction.”

“They learn all this history and staging and art and then they present it to the community,” he said. “I think that’s the greatest vehicle for history we have.”

Flosman said in many cases students have heard family stories that match up with what he teaches them in history class but they never put the two together.

“That’s our job as history teachers,” he said. “They have to try to put themselves in shoes of their great-grandparents and then see Canadian history through the lens of their family history.”

Flosman said he believes the WDHS Museum makes learning history a much richer experience for the students.

“If I give a multiple choice test … it’s hit or miss,” he said. “They take the test, three minutes later, it’s forgotten.

“They put (the museum) on, they will never forget it – so the history stays with them, it’s not something they forget.”

Former student Jon Fenn said Flosman had a huge impact on him.

“I would call him my mentor through the second half of high school,” he said. “I initially wanted to be a teacher just like him and took history in university.”

Although he didn’t end up teaching after studying history at the University of Waterloo, Fenn said Flosman was his inspiration.

“I have always loved history and to meet someone who shared the same interest and tried to instill that in me further, was pretty special,” he said.

Fenn said Flosman is a remarkable teacher who finds a way to make people who aren’t interested in history engaged with the subject.

“I don't think there is a more deserving recipient of this teaching award and I think it is long overdue,” he said.

Former student Samuel Berube said Flosman does a great job of connecting the student with the subject matter.

“A lot of people find history kind of boring, but he makes you able to connect to it,” he said. “He makes his room an exciting place to be.”

Berube added Flosman is a real community builder in the school – and a mentor to a lot of students.

“He’s a person that people love to be around,” he said.

Flosman said he would like to see the museum grow into a full-time location in the community.

“Waterdown has archives – they’re fantastic, they’re amazing,” he said. “But there’s no museum.

“Dundas has a museum, Hamilton has a museum, Burlington has a museum – why doesn’t Waterdown have a museum?” he continued. “One day this will burst – it’s already bursting – where will it go?”

Flosman added the award gives the museum some status.

“This was something that was one of the six best projects in Canada,” he said. “Something like that shows (the students) that this is a special project – this is not just a thing that kids in Oakville and kids in Toronto do.

“It’s a unique experience.”

Tidridge said the museum is “what teaching should be.”

“It’s concrete, it’s real, it’s giving back to the community,” he said. “It draws people, in, it’s living history.

“It connects people who went through those events with teenagers who are designing those exhibits and bringing them to life,” he continued. “It’s bridging that age gap. In teaching history, that’s the goal – you want to be able to make it real and he does that every single day.”

Flosman gave credit to the WDHS students for the award.

“I think it’s clear that the award is our award,” he said of the students. “It’s not one person.

“The students built (the museum) so really it’s our award.”

Tidridge said although Flosman is very modest, those around him want to celebrate him.

“It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate the type of teacher that he is and what he has done for our school and the community,” he said. “He’s amazing – it’s about time he got recognized for what he does.”

Waterdown teacher Rob Flosman receives Governor General's History Award for Teaching Excellence

WDHS history teacher recognized for student-run Waterdown Museum of History

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

Waterdown District High School history teacher Rob Flosman has been named the 2017 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching winner.

Flosman, who will receive the award from Governor General Julie Payette at a ceremony Nov. 22 at Rideau Hall, was one of six in the country to receive the award. He was recognized for his work with the student-run Waterdown Museum of History at WDHS, which has an annual attendance of more than 1,000 visitors.

He said it’s nice to receive the award.

“It’s quite an honour to be honoured that way,” he said of the award. “I was nominated in 2013 and was shortlisted to 25 but I didn’t win.

“The most important thing is finding the student, finding what their passion is, and allowing them to go in that direction.”

“I was so happy when I got that.”

However, another visitor to the museum nominated Flosman for this year’s award. He then had to submit a breakdown of the project to the committee.

“For them, the committee, they have no idea what this is,” he said. “They get the application, they don’t know what kind of museum – so you have to be detailed.”

“I submitted what we do here, what the students do,” he said. “They thought it fit their model.

“I’m proud of the students of Waterdown and I’m happy.”

Fellow WDHS history teacher Nathan Tidridge said the award is long overdue to Flosman.

“It basically confirms what all us who have worked with Rob already know – that he is one of the great teachers that this country has produced,” he said. “The museum – there’s nothing like that anywhere else in the country.”

Tidridge said the museum project is extraordinary.

“The engagement that he brings to that school and how he has worked to highlight and preserve all those artifacts,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Flosman said the museum represents a new way of teaching history.

“History, I think, gets lost in rote learning and dates and unfortunately for years and years,” he said. “This is the new history.

“The most important thing is finding the student, finding what their passion is, and allowing them to go in that direction.”

“They learn all this history and staging and art and then they present it to the community,” he said. “I think that’s the greatest vehicle for history we have.”

Flosman said in many cases students have heard family stories that match up with what he teaches them in history class but they never put the two together.

“That’s our job as history teachers,” he said. “They have to try to put themselves in shoes of their great-grandparents and then see Canadian history through the lens of their family history.”

Flosman said he believes the WDHS Museum makes learning history a much richer experience for the students.

“If I give a multiple choice test … it’s hit or miss,” he said. “They take the test, three minutes later, it’s forgotten.

“They put (the museum) on, they will never forget it – so the history stays with them, it’s not something they forget.”

Former student Jon Fenn said Flosman had a huge impact on him.

“I would call him my mentor through the second half of high school,” he said. “I initially wanted to be a teacher just like him and took history in university.”

Although he didn’t end up teaching after studying history at the University of Waterloo, Fenn said Flosman was his inspiration.

“I have always loved history and to meet someone who shared the same interest and tried to instill that in me further, was pretty special,” he said.

Fenn said Flosman is a remarkable teacher who finds a way to make people who aren’t interested in history engaged with the subject.

“I don't think there is a more deserving recipient of this teaching award and I think it is long overdue,” he said.

Former student Samuel Berube said Flosman does a great job of connecting the student with the subject matter.

“A lot of people find history kind of boring, but he makes you able to connect to it,” he said. “He makes his room an exciting place to be.”

Berube added Flosman is a real community builder in the school – and a mentor to a lot of students.

“He’s a person that people love to be around,” he said.

Flosman said he would like to see the museum grow into a full-time location in the community.

“Waterdown has archives – they’re fantastic, they’re amazing,” he said. “But there’s no museum.

“Dundas has a museum, Hamilton has a museum, Burlington has a museum – why doesn’t Waterdown have a museum?” he continued. “One day this will burst – it’s already bursting – where will it go?”

Flosman added the award gives the museum some status.

“This was something that was one of the six best projects in Canada,” he said. “Something like that shows (the students) that this is a special project – this is not just a thing that kids in Oakville and kids in Toronto do.

“It’s a unique experience.”

Tidridge said the museum is “what teaching should be.”

“It’s concrete, it’s real, it’s giving back to the community,” he said. “It draws people, in, it’s living history.

“It connects people who went through those events with teenagers who are designing those exhibits and bringing them to life,” he continued. “It’s bridging that age gap. In teaching history, that’s the goal – you want to be able to make it real and he does that every single day.”

Flosman gave credit to the WDHS students for the award.

“I think it’s clear that the award is our award,” he said of the students. “It’s not one person.

“The students built (the museum) so really it’s our award.”

Tidridge said although Flosman is very modest, those around him want to celebrate him.

“It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to celebrate the type of teacher that he is and what he has done for our school and the community,” he said. “He’s amazing – it’s about time he got recognized for what he does.”