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HWDSB teacher receives Governor General’s History Award

Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2017
flosman in trench

Rob Flosman in “the trench” section of a First World War exhibit.

Waterdown District High School (WDHS) teacher Rob Flosman is being celebrated for his excellence and dedication to teaching history with a national history award.

Flosman engages students in history and encourages them to immerse themselves in its teachings – which is why he has won a Governor General’s History Award.

“My philosophy is to give students a voice in our community,” said Flosman. “To allow them to ‘do history,’ not just learn it. To allow them to be active participants in history rather than silent listeners.”

Created in 1996 by Canada’s National History Society, the Governor General’s History Awards have recognized more than 100 teachers for excellence in teaching Canadian history.

Flosman, along with colleague and Buchanan Park teacher Dawn Martins, work together with their students to instill a passion for history through Waterdown’s own museum. Students run the museum, where they create and guide tours among the artifacts donated by the community.

Flosman also strives to motivate his students to understand their own place in history by encouraging them to investigate their own roots. As one part of the museum project, Flosman encouraged Grade 11 student Matt Lang to explore his family’s history.

“Matt tenaciously pursued the story of his great-grandparents who hid Jews in the Netherlands during World War II,” Flosman said. “He found the Jewish family they hid, and a reunion was set up in Washington, DC, this past August.”

This is among the many reasons Flosman will be recognized from November 19 to 21 at Canada’s History Awards at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. To understand more about the work done by Flosman and his students, artifacts from the First World War and Second World War will be on display at the WDHS museum and will be open to the public from November 6 to 10.

To learn more about Lang’s story, please read The Hamilton Spectator’s article or watch his family reunion on NBC Washington’s newscast.

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