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Premier's Awards For Teaching Excellence: Bryce Honsinger

BOARD: Teacher of the Year brings history to life, Applewood Public School,
St. Catharines, ON

Bryce Honsinger: “So, today we're going to be working with the two Loyalist wills, the ones you had asked about and requested to work with, which is great. No one has ever worked with these before. The only way for us to tell exactly what it was like here in St. Catharines is to really go back in a time machine a good 200 years ago. Short of doing that, this is the best way. I'll get the document camera going.”

BOARD: Bryce Honsinger, Teacher of the Year, Premier's Teaching Award

Bryce Honsinger: “My name is Bryce Honsinger. I'm an elementary school teacher here at Applewood Public School in St. Catharines, Grade 5-6 class.”

“John Honsinger. He was the Loyalist who first came to St. Catharines with his family. Go ahead and use the document camera at any time. Zoom it in.”

BOARD: Susan Lawrence, Principal and Nominator

Susan Lawrence: “Bryce has always brought history into the classroom. He started by doing his own research of his family history and I think that is his natural connection to people and children.”

Bryce Honsinger: “They were jacked up. They really enjoyed themselves. Here were boys, on the screen, totally engaged trying to figure out the words, tracing out the letters. They were totally interested. It was like a CSI experiment as far as they were concerned.”

BOARD: Jahred Warkentin & Owen Williams, Students

Jahred Warkentin: “I enjoy Mr. Honsinger. One, he doesn't consider himself better.”

Bryce Honsinger: “Beautiful!  Write it down. Excellent pick up.”

Jahred Warkentin: “We vote on, I would say about 95 per cent of the things in the class.”

Owen Williams: “He makes class time fun. He doesn't just say “read this.”  He makes you want to read it more.”

Bryce Honsinger: “So when you trace it back, you start to understand the city.”

Owen Williams: “He makes you want to come back every day.”

Bryce Honsinger: “Do you want to keep doing this after lunch?”

Class: Yeah!

Bryce Honsinger: “Okay, sweet.”

“A motivated individual, a motivated child is the most valuable thing in the world. The best part of the work is to see that engagement, to see the light going on.”

“Look at all of the things we're learning about lifetimes.”

Jahred Warkentin: “He also teaches us life lessons. We also need to know how to react when someone is teasing us or being bullied. We learn a lot about racism, discrimination, AIDS, poverty, hunger.”

Susan Lawrence: “This award is not about Bryce. It's about what he brings to the classroom and what he brings out in children.”

Bryce Honsinger: “The award means a lot to me, but it means a lot to me because of the fact that it is from my kids and from my peers. I love coming to work. I love my school. To know that these people respect what I can do means the world to me.”