|Couture. Credit: Robie Liscomb
By Crystal Bergeron
Since she was a teenager Michelle Couture has been teaching in one capacity or another.
Her background in teaching violin, French and English and her significant volunteer experiences have greatly contributed to the extraordinary middle school teacher she is today.
“To be a successful teacher you need to have a real passion for knowledge,” she says. “Passion can be contagious, and when it is, wow! Working with middle school students definitely requires a sense of humor and a bit of a thick skin in order to let those raging hormones roll off you,” says Couture, the 2008 recipient of the Maxwell Cameron Award in Secondary Education.
After two years at Camosun College, Couture transferred to UVic where she completed both her BA and MA in French. She also attended the Université de Bourgogne, in France, before returning to Victoria to complete her professional year program in teacher education.
As a French immersion teacher, Couture plans to share the richness of Canadian culture and global francophone culture with her students. “Here in western Canada, we need our children to realize that they are not ‘it.’ Canada is such a vast country; it’s often easy to forget what we share with others through language and culture. French immersion is one way we can start to introduce this into their lives and the school curriculum,” Couture says.
Couture, who is described by her supervisor as a “superstar,” is humble in acknowledging her tremendous achievements. While most would think consistently receiving academic scholarships, fellowships and graduating with a perfect 9.0 GPA are tremendous feats, she seems to think it’s all quite normal. “It’s so wonderful to be recognized for something that, to me, isn’t that extraordinary because I’m just doing what I love to do. It’s a privilege to be honoured for being me.”
Couture recently began a full-time teaching position at École John Stubbs Memorial School in Colwood where she will no doubt make a significant difference in the lives of her students, colleagues and the greater community.