TEACHER’S PAGE: A Note From Richard
If you’re looking for a way for your young people to have so much fun, that they won’t even realize they’re learning, then you’ve come to the right place!
In the 1990s, I wrote my first tour and started offering it from the front steps of a museum a few nights a week. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with introducing Toronto’s past to people of all ages. What’s really satisfying, though, is really getting young learners actually excited about the past. Let’s face it. History is one of those subjects that is boring if you don’t offer it the right way. I was (and still am) a nerd so I loved it but I understand that not every young person is so fortunate.
I’ve spent almost ten years now giving walking tours, and I love the thrill of teaching something fun and interesting to people. I’ve also built up a good reputation with a lot of museums and heritage sites over the last few years, and can often incorporate a really interesting indoor visit with some good exercise and outdoor site seeing. I’ve come to learn what specific locations in the city will give that “Oh wow!!” factor to anyone, young or old, again and again.
Here are some reasons why you should book an educational trip with Muddy York Walking Tours.
If you’re looking for a little extra help, I can provide you with some notes and ideas to take back with you into the classroom after our event. If you have some English as a Second Language students, we can arrange a special vocabulary session before the tour to introduce them to some special phrases and concepts. This is also good from our vantage point, because it better equips the guide to understand what level their command of English is before the tour starts.
I can be your one stop contact for arranging an entire day excursion. I can combine elements from different tours and also include an interior visit to almost any historical location in the city (check out the “Building Partners” page for some initial ideas). We can completely fit your trip in with your current curriculum. Some favourite themes over the last few years have been 19th century history, 20th century history, urban ecology and also law.
If you can’t come to central Toronto, let me bring it to you. I’ve given illustrated talks both in the classroom and to adult organizations all over the city.
If you have a question about timing, let me know. Often, for school groups, we combine elements of several different tours and can offer something interesting in the span of an hour, a half day, or a full day.
We’ve helped students from all social levels come out. If you contact me, don’t worry, we can negotiate a price.
When groups discover us, they come back again and again. Some of the groups that repeatedly book with me include several different agencies organizing educational trips, youth group leaders, both public and private school teachers who’ve discovered the tours and can’t get enough, and also summer and day camp groups, some of whom are operated by various city organizations and others that are independently operated (one is as far away as Pennsylvania but they send their kids up every Summer!).
I believe in taking history and mixing it with humour and story telling to turn it into something that’s fun and exciting. I’ve had a lot of great feedback since I started on the front steps of that museum, and I’ve really enjoyed what I do. I will never forget the best compliment that I have ever received. It was from a teenage student who I was taking around on a class trip. In between a bit of dynamic story telling, she turned to me and said, “You’re okay. You’re like a kid yourself, who knows stuff.”