Rewarding. Fulfilling. Constructive. Exciting. Those who choose to be teachers find that the profession has so much to offer on a personal level. Why? Find out in this article, which gives voice to French-language teachers. It was written by l’Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française1 (ACELF) as part of the campaign “Enseigner, ça me parle!” launched by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE).
We all have vivid memories of them. Experiences etched in our minds that have motivated us to keep going, to push our limits and to believe in ourselves. They were our role models. They taught us so much about different subjects, including ourselves. Who are we talking about? Teachers, of course! The teaching profession is of paramount importance for society as a whole. Unfortunately, our French-language schools are facing a teacher shortage. It’s a shame, considering all that the profession has to offer.
Why choose to be a teacher? Because it has so much to offer on a personal level! “I love teaching!” exclaimed Maryse, a first-grade teacher who has clearly found fulfillment. “We have fun,” is how she sums up her days working with her kids. She loves that she can use her creativity in the classroom, in particular when preparing activities for her students. “What inspires me about teaching is seeing the children progress, thrive, and become citizens. It’s wonderful to see their eyes light up when they learn new things. And I’ve had the privilege of seeing that twinkle in their eyes every day for the past 15 years,” she said. For Maryse, teaching means being filled with wonder—all the time.
“You helped me become a better version of myself,” is something a number of Mensah’s students have told him. Teaching gives Mensah a great sense of accomplishment. “What inspires me about teaching is taking part in building society. My students will be the architects, landscapers and doctors of the future. I also enjoy finding new ways [adapting] of intervening with each and every one of my students. And it feels good to have a positive influence, to have an impact on their success, to be able to help them become better people,” he said. For Mensah, teaching means making a difference.
This also rings true with Bénédicte, a teacher brimming with energy. ”What inspires me about teaching is, above all else, being able to help. And also the fact that I’m always learning. What I like is the fundamentally human side of the profession,” she explained. Bénédicte created a file where she collects souvenirs from her students. It’s where she keeps drawings, cards and thank you notes they’ve made for her. She told us about a letter she received from a former student, and how deeply touched she had been. The student wrote that, thanks to her teacher’s strong impact, she, too, had decided to enter the teaching profession! And so, teaching also means inspiring the next generation.
So many possibilities!
Being a teacher means keeping your passions alive. Music. Sports. Science experiments. Plays. Ecology. There are so many exciting subjects that teachers help their students discover and experience. That’s exactly what Roger thinks. “What really inspires me about teaching is sharing my passion for learning and for the subjects I teach: physics, chemistry, and math. For me, teaching means creating an authentic learning experience. We do experiments using roller coasters, we build cars, and we have contests,” he added. Sharing what he loves and having fun doing it—that’s his job. But as the proverb goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
And let’s not forget teachers’ invaluable contribution to the vitality of our Francophone communities. Think about it. At French-language schools, school staff play a vital role in helping students develop their cultural identity. Teachers use classroom interventions and activities to “introduce their students to the Francophone culture, help develop cultural identity and foster a sense of belonging [to the Francophone community],” explained Geneviève. That’s what she noticed while doing a teaching practicum (Stage en enseignement de l’ACELF) at Océane, a French-language school in British Columbia.
Teachers have a significant influence on their students when it comes to making room for the Francophone culture in their everyday lives. To lead their lives in French. And to ensure that French-speaking communities across the country continue to thrive in the future. Teachers help shape the future!
Doing just that is a strong motivator for Zoé, who is studying to be an elementary school teacher at Campus SaintJean at the University of Alberta. ”One of the main reasons I want to become a teacher is so that I can share values with my students. I want to pass along my love for the Francophone culture. I want to help these young people build a cultural identity so that they feel proud to be Francophone,” she explained. In her future job, she will be able to leverage a number of tools designed for this purpose, such as those presented by the Pédagogie à l’école de langue française (PELF).
And teaching is still so much more! The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) has taken on a mission to promote and increase awareness about this rewarding profession. It seeks to highlight the remarkable work of the teachers in our schools. It also aims to attract young people to this wonderful profession. And ACELF is a proud partner in this initiative. Discover even more exciting reasons to become a teacher by browsing the campaign website Enseigner, ça me parle! Because teaching is so much more!
Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française (ACELF)
1Translator’s note: All links in this article lead to French-only content as it is part of a campaign to promote teaching in French-language schools.