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Teacher Camille: Our beloved and loyal teacher

Camille Dube is an Ontario Certified Teacher, who has been with Canaway since the beginning. She enjoys teaching English as it gives her the opportunity to work with students to explore literary texts to better understand the world. For her, the best English classes are ones that not only challenge students’ language skills but also challenge their mindsets. She believes that a class should never be static, just as learning is never static, it is constantly moving, folding and growing. When the world spins normally she is an active traveller, whether it be exploring countries across the globe or new cities and towns in Canada. When not adventuring she often has a book in hand, a cup of coffee or plays with her little Pomeranian dog, Chai.

Here’s how Camille Dube experienced her journey as a teacher at Canaway.

Q: What did you expect about teaching in Canaway? 

A: That’s a really good question. When I first saw this position become available I was very intrigued because it was noting that many of the students were in Peru and it is just a country that I feel very connected to as it was one of the first countries that I went to as a young person and that immediately kind of captured my interest and I think just the idea of teaching online and being able to connect with students from around the world has been something that has always been appealing to me, so, it felt like a perfect fit. 

Q: How has been your experience at Canaway Academy so far?

A: It has been amazing, it has been challenging at times. I think just with the nature of technology and I really have been passionate about trying new pieces of technology in the classroom and using new e-learning tools and learning management systems. And it hasn’t always worked out but I think myself and the students have appreciated trying many different platforms and different things.  So it has been an excellent experience so far extremely rewarding and I think it will be even more so as I watch these students that I have seen for years now start to apply and attend universities in Canada. I am so excited about that. 

Q: What is the difference between teaching Latin American students and Canadian students? 

A: This is also a really great question. And is honestly something I’ve been thinking about since the beginning because there are a lot of differences and they are both really positive. My students in Canada I feel that we have kind of just a different connection as we can relate to a lot of things. But then, having students across Latin America has really inspired me to learn more and be more politically aware of what is happening in different countries. And more culturally aware as well. I feel that teaching students in Latin America has really provided me with this opportunity to just learn more and really kind of expand my knowledge of different countries. And it is always so interesting to me, in English specifically as we explore themes and different kinds of political content and have all that insight from various students from various countries. So I think it is something that is really evident the difference between my students in Canada and Latin America and it just adds so much value to our classroom experience. 

Q: What challenges have you faced teaching international students online? 

A: Number one would be technology as technology is not always a friend. But as far as other challenges of perhaps teaching international students online, I don’t think that there are a lot of challenges. The students that are in Canaway that attend my classes are so motivated and so dedicated that anything that might be perceived as a challenge I think they kind of take it as an encouragement or just kind of that step to live up to. So other than internet connection I don’t think that there are a lot of challenges that we may face.

Q: What have you learned about being the teacher of the first class of Canaway?

A: I think through this experience of being the first full-time teacher with Canaway, it has been a learning experience for myself as well as for the students and I think the group of us have learned together, we have gone through challenges together, we have been through a lot of successes together and it has really been an extremely rewarding experience and honestly has been an honour to be that first teacher to kind of pile it a lot of this. And just makes me so excited for the future of Canaway and for the future of my students as they expand and hopefully all come to Canada.

Q: What do you think about the students’ performance in ENG3U & ENG4U? Also, What do you think about the students’ development through the classes?  

A: I will be very honest in saying every day the students surprise me with the effort and the hard work they put into my class. And looking at ENG3U where we began and even before that with some of our ESL classes to where we are now in Grade 12, English ENG4U, it has been so much growth honestly monumental and I think that the way they developed has been very personal to a lot of them the way that I can see them share their opinion share their insight whether be through dialogue or through their writing has really matured and it makes me so proud to be their teacher just to see that. Overall the students’ general performance is amazing. It really does surprise me every day.  Another valuable part of that is the collaboration they have with their classmates. So, as Canaway, we do have smaller classes because we really find that value in that collaboration and to see the students support each other inside the class, outside the class, I think it is so great and that is a key element of their success, in my opinion. 

Let’s hear from Canaway students…

Our relationship with teacher Camille is harmonious, happy and special.  More than a teacher, she is a friend who is there for us in the difficult moments when we get stuck or struggle with something, to solve doubts and questions, and is a wonderful and friendly person. She is one of the most smiling teachers I have ever seen, she always starts classes with a big smile and that motivation is contagious to all the students. She is the best English teacher I have ever had. Love her.

I personally like the ENG4U class, it has allowed me to strengthen my writing skills, increase my capacity for analysis and inference, and know the ways to cite texts correctly. With respect to the teaching method, it is quite didactic and provides us with the necessary material so that we can better understand the topics. In addition, it is always available for any questions we may have.

This article was first published in the December 2020 Canaway Newsletter.

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