Linda Hut: The whole city is the classroom

Year: 2018 – Province: Alberta

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Linda Hut

City Hall School
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7

School telephone: 780-944-7826
School website: www.edmonton.ca/cityhallschool
Twitter: @CityHallSchool

Subjects and grades taught: All subjects, grades 1–12

Each year, Linda Hut teaches 600 students from 25 classes who participate in a week of hands-on, inquiry-based learning at Edmonton City Hall. Students learn about municipal government and are challenged to consider the complexity of issues such as equality, poverty, reconciliation and the environment.

Teaching approach

In collaboration with the classroom teachers, Linda tailors each week with unique opportunities to link classroom themes with experiences and experts. The entire city becomes a classroom and professionals—ranging from architects to artists, planners to poets, historians to horticulturalists—give presentations to the students.

In the Classroom

  • Explores the role of technology in running the city, with visits to the heating plant and learning about open data, transit applications and online city services; students consider the changing role of the media with visits to television stations and the city's daily newspaper
  • Tailors each week's program to meet the specific learning, developmental and behavioural needs of each incoming class—from gifted students to children with autism—and even finding presenters to speak with German, French and Spanish Immersion students in the respective language
  • Arranges age-appropriate activities that connect with the curriculum: Grade 3 students learn about sound by singing on stage at the concert hall; Grade 5s visit the command centre at the local stadium to learn about emergency preparedness; senior students have days dedicated to themes such as governance, the fine arts and advocacy
  • Rounds out the year with the Citizenship Fair: classes come back to the school in June to share and showcase work inspired by their week with Linda

Outstanding achievements

  • Provides professional development to the teachers of the 25 classes in September, inspiring them to implement a cohesive program throughout the year; she follows this up with three visits to each class and sends out a weekly e-newsletter with materials promoting active citizenship
  • Established the Mayor Reads project, which has Edmonton's mayor read a book—sometimes linked to the seasons or occasions such as Remembrance Day—on video for posting on the City's website; City Hall School students help with the shoot

Rave reviews

"We know that without Ms. Hut's drive and enthusiasm for the program and what it offers, City Hall School would not be the outstanding program that it is today. We affectionately refer to Linda as the 'teacher on fire.' She ignites flames in everyone who is touched by her teaching."

Parents
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