A Chemainus Secondary School teacher is being recognized by the Governor General for her exceptional commitment to sharing Canada’s history with her students.
Janet Ruest received a History Award for Excellence in Teaching from Governor General Julie Payette at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Ruest was singled out for praise for asking her Social Studies 10 students to go beyond the textbook and research some lesser-known stories that were of interest to them.
“The winners certainly have a significant influence on their students, enabling them to understand their history through unique and innovative projects,” said Janet Walker, President and CEO of Canada’s History.
Inspired by the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Ruest wanted to her students to make personal connections to the curriculum she was teaching.
They did so by conducting interviews and holding a public exhibition in order to better absorb what they were learning and contribute their own stories to the broader narrative of Canada’s history.
“I am proud of my students. I tried to design a project that fit both the history and geography curricula and my students rose to the challenge,” said Ruest.
“I am accepting this award on behalf of my students. Thank you to the thousands of students who, throughout my career, have helped make me the teacher I am today.”
Ruest was one of only eight teachers from across the country to be given the award.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, we offer Janet our sincere congratulations on this incredible achievement,” said Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District (SD 79).
“We are very proud of her accomplishments, and thank her for her continued dedication to engaging students in their learning.”
Ruest is no stranger to recognition, last year she received the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence.
“Pushing learners to think beyond the textbooks and connect with real-life examples that help them make sense of what they are learning is exactly what 21st century learning is about,” said Rod Allen, Superintendent of SD 79.
“Janet’s students are incredibly engaged in their learning, and that is a huge testament to not only what she is teaching, but how she is teaching it.”