MONTREAL, DECEMBER 6, 2010 – For some, it takes an illustrious hockey career to garner Hall of Fame credentials. However, for Linda Mahler, a teacher at Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West, all she it took was an e-mail and a teaching degree.
Maher’s path to the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame began two years ago, when the now 36-year teaching veteran was searching for material which would peak the interest of her male students. With hockey season in full-swing, she happened to stumble upon “Canadiens@School”, an online resource operated by the hockey club that marries the team with the MELSQ curriculum.
“I thought it was very pedagogically sound and that it was really well done,” said Ms. Mahler. “My students just loved it.”
With no cost involved and a myriad of themed resources available, she immediately jumped online and to present her students’ with stimulating educational activities, which undoubtedly, encouraged her students to hit the books as if the Stanley Cup was on the line.
After seeing first-hand the amazing success of the program, she sat down to write a simple complimentary e-mail was written, offering a token of gratitude to the team for sponsoring the resource. Lo and behold, a few months later, Ms. Mahler’s phone rang, with a representative from the Canadiens at the other end of the line.
“They asked me if I would be interested to work on a new lessons and activities for the following year, and the subject was the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame,” said Ms. Mahler. “I eagerly took the job and started working on it immediately. It took several weeks as it was labor intensive, and I had to make sure that my plans would correspond with the MELSQ requirements and were cycle based, but it was a lot of fun.”
Working alongside other teachers, including Freda Solman from the Lester B. Pearson School Board, Ms. Mahler completed lessons in Language Arts, Math, Social Science, History, Science and Geography. She also worked on a special questionnaire to accompany students who take a tour of the Hall of Fame.
“There were seven different components that I had to develop and the Canadiens were incorporated into each one,” she added. “For science, the lesson deals with the trains that the Canadiens used to travel on before they begun to use airplanes. In researching this, I had the opportunity to take a private tour of the Canadiens Hall of Fame where they have a replica of a sleeping car. I found out that many Canadiens were actually working on the trains in the early 1940s, in addition to their hockey careers.”
While Ms. Mahler kept the other lessons close to her jersey, she does hope to be asked back next year for the next series of units. Until then, she will undoubtedly make good use of the new set of online resources, and of course, encourages her colleagues across the EMSB to do the same.
Lessons can be viewed and printed at: www.canadiensatschool.com. The Hall of Fame unit is currently being translated and should be online in both English and French shortly.