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Chantale Fortin

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

2 students in science classroom

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

About me

I was born/grew up in: Alma, Lac St-Jean, Quebec

I now live in: Alma, Lac St-Jean, Quebec

I completed my training/education at:  I have a bachelor's degree in microbiology from Laval University., a master's degree in the Faculty of Medicine from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Laval University and a PhD from the Armand Frappier Institute. I also have a certificate in High School Teaching.

What I do at work

I came into teaching science by accident. I was planning to go into research. My goals was to obtain a teaching position in a university and direct a research laboratory. As for what I do as a high school science teacher, I think most students would be aware from seeing what their teachers do. I try to develop the most complete experimental approach possible. I like to use a problem-solving approach with my students. My goal is to help develop critical minds in my students. To do this, I also use a structured and valid media research approach which is an essential skill in the 21st century.

My career path is

I developed a passion for research when I participated in two research projects during my third and last year of my microbiology bachelor's degree at Laval University. I continued the following year doing a master's program at the Faculty of Medicine of in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. After 12 months of laboratory work and 15 course credits, I started writing my thesis. Writing a thesis does not require you to stay at the university. As a result, I went to join my spouse in the Chibougamau-Chapais region of Quebec.

I was asked if I was interested in teaching high school mathematics at the small Polyvalente Le Filon in Chapais. I accepted and taught grades 8 through 10 math. I continued to work on my thesis while teaching.

After I submitted my thesis, I applied for a doctoral grant and a research laboratory that was willing to let me join. I taught for 2 years and then went to the Armand Frappier Institute in Laval. My plan was to continue to work towards a PhD at Montreal University.

After a year of doctoral studies, several factors led me to rethink my career choice. I found that I missed contact with students. The two years I spend teaching had changed my career focus. I found my desire to pass on knowledge was stronger than my passion for research. As a result, I enrolled in a program where I could obtain an official diploma required for high school teaching.

I am motivated by

Despite my passion for research, I made the choice to leave research work because I needed more human contact.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I hope I can influence young people to love science. Since they are familiar with the teaching profession, I will let them judge for themselves the influence that I have on them.

Outside of work I

I love being active in nature (e.g., skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, swimming...) I love being outside and spend the most time outside during July and August. My work takes up a lot of my time in the evenings and on weekends.

My advice to others

There are so many possibilities that no matter what choices you make. Keep an open mind! Our goals can evolve and it is important to respect your feelings at the time. Even if you change career pathways, nothing you do will be a waste of time.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Music
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought People Together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Was motivated by success
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • I was part of a 4H movement (nature) for several years until I became the assistant club leader.

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