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Marie Bélanger: A contagious quest for innovation

Transcription – Marie Bélanger, Prime Minister's Award recipient

[Black screen fades up to a white background, with the following words appearing, line by line: Prime Minister's Awards. Music playing. Transition to a white and grey screen with medium shot of a woman, smiling, on the left side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the right and voice over: Marie Bélanger, École Émilie-Tremblay, Whitehorse, Yukon.]

[Fade to black and then to photos, with voice over. Photos: Marie performing a robotic demonstration in front of a group of students sitting in low chairs with a service dog; the flexible classroom with three students working at a tall table, three students sitting on the ground working at a low table, and Marie talking to two students who are reading on the top of a loft bed; five students sitting at the edge of a pool with tablets in their hands; students using microphones and tablet computers; Marie holding a large piece of poster board in front of a group of students sitting on rocks, with their notebooks, near a wooded area; five students laying on the ground in a circle drawing on papers; three students working with lego and a tablet at a table.]

Marie Bélanger's vast experience, inexhaustible curiosity and boundless energy have made her an inspiration to her students and colleagues. Always on the lookout for fresh new ideas, she develops initiatives that allow her students to excel both in the classroom and through projects that bring them out of their comfort zone and their school, including video projects, science and technology competitions and comic strip projects, whatever it takes to make learning more dynamic.

[Fade to black and then up white and grey screen with medium shot of woman, smiling, on the left side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the right: Marie Bélanger, École Émilie-Tremblay, Whitehorse, Yukon. Voice over: Marie Bélanger.]

[Fade to white, with the Government of Canada FIP and then the Canada Wordmark appearing in black.]

Year: 2019 – Territory: Yukon

Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Marie Bélanger

Grade 5 (practical skill, mathematics, social studies, French, career education,
physical education, arts)
École Émilie-Tremblay, Whitehorse, Yukon

"Marie prepares our students for a digital and innovative economy. In turn, they will keep on developing their own culture of innovation that we need now and in the future."  — Nominator

Thanks to her particular experience, insatiable curiosity and boundless energy, Marie Bélanger is a teacher who knows how to inspire her students and colleagues alike to dive into the world of innovation.

Teaching approach

Marie is a gold mine of resources and strategies that enable her students to progress at their own pace, to discover the universe of ICTs through stimulating projects and to share beyond the classroom the many things they learn, making them feel valued and heard.

In the classroom

  • By setting up a flexible classroom, Marie enables the children to work together in creative work spaces where they can show their leadership and involvement.
  • She often uses old unused equipment that the students take apart and put back together so that they can discover how it works.
  • Marie has created a comic strip with characters representing her students in actual situations to make them aware of ethics, consent, reliability of sources and online security.
  • She uses FreshGrade, an electronic portfolio platform that enables her to post and share the students' work with their parents as well as supporting their learning.

Outstanding achievements

  • With the assistance of a computer technician and two high school students, she has written and produced training capsules for teachers on the use of technology in the classroom (capsules available on YouTube).
  • With her grade 5 class, she also participated in filming capsules for the Pédagogie à l'école de langue française (PELF) project which aims to develop teaching methods that are specific to minority settings and developing training for personnel.
  • Her students won 1st place in the regional final and 3rd place in the national final in the Destination Imagination competition in which they had to compete against other teams in challenges in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, fine arts and learning through service.
Transcription – Marie Bélanger - 2019 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence

[Black screen fades up to close-up of woman in interview setting against a white background. Music playing.]

"In my opinion, the most important factor that leads to a student's success is their commitment."

[Fade to black and then up to white with medium shot of woman, smiling, on the right side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the left: Marie Bélanger, École Émilie-Tremblay, Whitehorse (Yukon). Fade to black and then up to Marie in the interview setting.]

"If a student wakes up in the morning and wants come to school, that's the most important thing. I always ask the parents of my students, when we meet, "Does your child want to come to school in the morning? If the answer is 'yes,' I know I did a good job."

[Fade to black and then up to close-up of Marie in the interview setting.]

"I am particularly proud of my flexible class. A flexible class is a class that does not have traditional desks or chairs. Students can walk around the classroom, and can sit where they want. I have a bunk bed in my class, so students can work on the bed or under the bed; I have individual chairs, rocking chairs; we have big tables for group work; I have a place in front of the board where we can meet to talk together. The flexible classroom really allows you to respond to different needs, for groups working together, and for individual work, and changing the class quickly."

[Fade to black and then back to Marie in the interview setting.]

"The flexible class does not necessarily improve students' academic performance, but they develop autonomy ..."

[Fade to black and then up to photos with voice over. Photos: Five students working as a group around a large table; Marie performing a robotic demonstration in front of a group of students sitting in low chairs with a service dog; Marie holding a large piece of poster board in front of a group of students sitting on rocks, with their notebooks, near a wooded area; students using microphones and tablet computers.]

"... and self-regulation. They are really proud of their class and, in Grade 5, it's really important to develop independence for high school. The flexible classroom really allows us to give our students the chance to show greater independence."

"Technology is really important in schools because it motivates students."

[Fade to black and then back to close-up of Marie in the interview setting.]

"Today, students want to be able to use and demonstrate their learning with iPads, apps, computers. Technology offers a wide variety of choices for children to be able to show their learning as they want. Then again, today, with coding, robotics is important. It's those skills that students will have to use in the future, and in their jobs. So, it's important that we show this to our students."

[Fade to black and then back to close-up of Marie in the interview setting.]

"If anyone wants to nominate a teacher for the Prime Minister's Award, I warmly advise them to do it because it's ..."

[Fade to black and the up to photos, with voice over. Photos: Three recipients listen to a presentation; Marie discusses a point with two participants; Marie speaking behind a podium during her presentation on her best practices; Marie with Paul Thompson, Associate Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, having received her Prime Minister's Awards pin; Marie, two other people and a Mountie in dress uniform on Parliament Hill.]

"… really inspiring to come here to Ottawa and to meet other educators who have a passion for education. And especially, since I teach in a minority francophone environment, to meet other francophones who teach in a minority environment, to talk to each other about ideas, and to share. It's really inspiring."

[Fade to black, with the Government of Canada FIP and then the Canada Wordmark appearing in white.]

Get in touch!

École Émilie-Tremblay
20, Falcon Drive
Whitehorse, YK Y1A 6B2
867-667-8150
emilie.tremblay@yesnet.yk.ca
http://eet.csfy.ca/
Facebook : @ eetcsfy

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