250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 1:47 am

PG Teacher Wins National History Award For WWII Class Project

Saturday, October 31, 2015 @ 2:45 PM
Glen Thielmann - photos 250News

Glen Thielmann – photos 250News

Prince George, B.C. – A big honour for a Prince George high school teacher.

Glen Thielmann, a social studies and geography teacher at D.P. Todd Secondary School, has been awarded the Government of Canada History Awards for Teachers.

“This is a way to recognize project work,” he says. “So this isn’t an award for being an awesome teacher, this is just an award for having an awesome class project.” 20151028_131708

Thielmann says his project, which he calls the Echo Project, refers to both the generation of students that he teaches (the echo or millennial generation) and also the nature of the research.

He says it involves casting out a question across an expanse, in this case time, and hoping for some kind of response.

“The project is for Grade 11 students and the idea is to reach back,” says Thielmann. “The echo they’re trying to create is across two generations, a 50 year gap.”

He says the goal was not only to help students develop critical thinking and research skills, but for them to learn more about the significance for Canadians of events revolving around WWII.

Thielmann says some of the results, including a project from last year, were astonishing.

“A student, a friend of his grandfather, who was a British soldier during WWII, was captured three times by the Germans and escaped twice,” he says. “The third time he was liberated.”

Thielmann says the veteran, who happens to be in his mid 90s and living in Prince George, had a camera with him and was able to document what he saw.

“The photographs were riveting, the sort of things you’d expect from WWII documentaries including the disturbing images.”

He says his experiences were such that he was called upon to be a witness in a war crimes tribunal.

As for the award itself, Thielmann was just one of 20 winners from across the country, and received both a certificate and $2,000.

“I used the $2,000 to buy a MacBook so I can continue teaching in my classroom.”


Congratulations Glen. Keep up the good work!

Sounds like the kids did a great job!

Congratulations Glen! And while I respect your humility, a great class project is the work of a great school teacher … creating the learning moment is much more powerful than being the learning moment … engagement versus pontificating

Was a pedestrian involved? I read the story many times looking for the word pedestrian, couldn’t find it!

Taxi, wrong story. By the way, Oak St. misses you.

Sounds like your students learn a lot from you, and you’ve done them a service by helping them understand our history. Thanks very much, your one darn good teacher.

What a great way for the students to learn. You are one good teacher!

Comments for this article are closed.