Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 2002 – Province: Quebec

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Marie-Chantal Vanier

School: École Lac-des-Fées
4, rue Chapleau
Gatineau, Quebec  J8Y 2K5

Principal: Jean-Marc Soutière
School Telephone: 819-777-6889
School Fax: 819-777-8278
School website:
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 1-6, all subjects for students with learning disabilities

Teaching approach:

  • Students with learning disabilities must be respected if they are going to overcome bad feelings from past setbacks.
  • Baby steps! Students' ultimate goal is self-realization, and they are more likely to achieve it if they have plenty of chances for little victories now. Set measurable and realistic goals for students with learning disabilities.
  • Parental involvement is a big help. Sometimes, there are too many offers of help and they have to be refused, but later, both teacher and students will benefit from this involvement.

Outstanding achievements:

Built sense of achievement and stimulated interest by allowing students to tackle complex subjects such as electricity and the Internet. Students who had originally struggled with regular class material responded positively.

Recognizing that students had little motivation to tackle reading exercises, instituted practical reading activities such as cooking classes, in which students have to read the recipes.

Created opportunities for her students to take part in school-wide activities such as stage productions and student newspapers. This reduces feeling of intimidation caused by past setbacks and criticism of peers.

Classes have a very high participation rate. Originally prone to absenteeism, students are now known for showing up even on professional development days and wanting to come to school even when they are sick.

Rave reviews:

"She believed in me and never let me down. When I was sad because the other children had been mean to me, she would sing me "The Grey Rat Song" that we had invented together to make me feel better. I still remember it." Former pupil

"Marie-Chantal believed in my daughter. Fifteen years later she already has a long list of achievements to her credit. And her eyes still sparkle when she talks about Marie-Chantal." Parent

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