For Félix Arguin and Guillaume Laporte, two heads are better than one. The innovative teaching method of the two high school teachers at the Séminaire de Sherbrooke has been so successful that they are among the winners of the Premier’s Awards for Teaching Excellence in 2018.
C es awards honor teachers for their outstanding achievements in education and for their commitment to help the next generation of Canadians acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a world inspired by the ideas and propelled by innovation .
“It’s an incredible honor,” says Guillaume Laporte. It’s good to see that our work is recognized because often teaching is not necessarily recognized. We more than ever want to continue. We met a lot of teachers with great ideas and I really hope we can keep in touch. ”
In the case of Félix and Guillaume, it was thanks to the Follow Our Footsteps project that they were able to shake hands with the Prime Minister.
“It’s a different philosophy,” says Félix Arguin in a telephone interview with La Tribune. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child and we often think that this village is school, but we want to extend it to the whole community. To give you an example, Guillaume teaches robotics and instead of ordering parts on Amazon, he made a partnership with Estrie Aide. Guillaume arrived with his class and they did dismantling workshops for electronic devices. With all the pieces they picked up, they built kits for kids who want to discover robotics. Guillaume’s students even did tutorials on YouTube. This is a good example of student entrepreneurship. ”
Robotics may be more amenable to these teaching methods, but even traditional subjects may benefit.
“I teach French so it’s harder to integrate technologies,” explains Félix Arguin. My students have iPads and I had them make an oral presentation in a daycare in front of a group of 4-5 years instead of a normal class. The theme was tales and legends.
They had to adapt to children who have difficulty pretending to love something. They had to learn and adapt. ”
“We also have the project Robin des pubs,” he continues. Traditionally, a product was invented for young people when it came time to teach copywriting. It was a project that inevitably ended up in a binder and nothing happened thereafter. What I did was go to community organizations. Our students went to meet them and put up posters and videos for the promotion. ”
Impacts on youth motivation were immediate, according to Arguin.
“They do not necessarily have to report, but we are no longer in the simulator, it’s real life and it’s their name that they associate with their work. The instructions do not come from the teacher or the school, the report is completely different. ”
All winners received a pin, a certificate and a congratulatory letter from the Prime Minister.
To push their idea even further, Félix and Guillaume decided to take the plunge and set up their own company named Jonction Éducation.
The mandate of the company: to make the link between technology and the population on an educational basis.
“Technology is evolving rapidly and it’s very difficult to democratize it because it’s often quite expensive,” says Arguin. The ultimate goal is for teachers to be more comfortable with the technologies. We also want to train future teachers.
Global education is moving in this direction. You must not miss it. Technology has too many advantages to ignore it. ”