Even if he had tamed teaching thanks to a substitute job at the end of his first season in the professional ranks in 2015, Christophe Normand discovered a whole new facet of the teaching profession due to the cancellation of the teaching season. the CFL.
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A full-time teacher at Monseigneur Euclide-Théberge high school in Marieville, an institution he attended from 2005 to 2009 and where he discovered football, the Alouettes back center is in fact responsible for a group of students. with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Along with his mentor Marquis Rodrigue, Normand is responsible for a group of 12 students.
“I really like that,” says the dad of two young children, who also holds a regular group of social universe in second secondary. The teaching is a little different. We have a group of 10 to 12 students and we are still two teachers. Marquis is like my trainer. He supervises me a lot and serves as a mentor. He has made his career with these groups of students and it is reassuring to have him by my side. Without Marquis, I would be pretty good at it.
“The dynamic is different from a regular group because we focus a lot on individual work,” continues the holder of a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree from Laval University. We adapt to the pace of each young person instead of making the whole group evolve at the same pace. Like a football coach who adapts his games according to the opponent, we adapt our teaching to the rhythm of the student. “
Normand loves this contact.
“When you manage to bond, it’s really rewarding,” he says. It’s not that easy, but it’s really the fun when you manage to get into their understanding. Social relationships are different, but that doesn’t mean that a young person with the autism spectrum is unable to communicate. Communication must be very clear. “
At Monsignor Euclide-Théberge, a school with just under 1,200 students, Normand rubs shoulders with his former teachers and coaches. He was helping coaches before the season was canceled.
“This summer, I wanted to get closer to school through football, but the great shortage of teachers meant that I accepted a teaching position in September. I don’t want to go back to college for four years, but I will be back next year if there is no season. As for football, young people play on the same grass and mud field and wear the same helmets and shoulder pads as in my time. We were able to play three games before everything was stopped. “
After completing his last internship at Saint-Jean-Eudes last winter, Mathieu Betts joined the teaching staff of the private school in Quebec in September.
“I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, which is really positive for my development,” said the Edmonton Eskimos defensive end. I have my class in physical education, but I am also involved in the multisport program with soccer, hockey, basketball and cheerleadeding. Because there are a lot of preventive withdrawals due to COVID-19, I also do a lot of supply teaching in French, languages and dramatic arts. “
Betts is impressed with the students.
“The majority of young people need to move and we cannot offer them the best experience. They don’t have their sweet tooth in playing games or tournaments. It’s not an easy context, but they impress me and adapt to the situation. Morale is not that bad, given the circumstances. The pandemic allows me to improve with technological tools. This is the aspect that I find the most difficult. “