Alumnus/Alumna profile

Myriam Vincent

BFA 15
Teaching primary school students in an inclusive and diverse setting

Myriam Vincent graduated in 2015 from the Art Education program with great distinction. The recipient of many prizes and awards, including the Helen McNicoll Art Prize, the Leah Sherman Award, and the Art Education prize, she also received the Alfred Pinsky medal at the 2015 convocation. Vincent is currently teaching at the elementary level in Montreal, with a focus on special needs.

Tell me about yourself — Who are you?

I currently teach elementary students in an inclusive and diverse school setting. My main interests in teaching are special needs and cultural diversity and their many challenges. My artistic practice focuses on fiber arts, using weaving techniques to explore the ideas of chance and encounter. Both practices inform and complement each other.

Being a returning student shaped and influenced my learning experience at Concordia, and being a francophone in an English-speaking community also made an impression. Both contributed to the unique vision I’ve developed around diversity and care that is very relevant in my practice.

What are you doing right now? How does your present work relate to art and art education?

I am currently teaching elementary students in a public school in Ville St-Laurent, for the Commission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys.

Art education is in every aspect of my teaching practice: in the visual references I use for students with special needs, in the student-centered projects I present to my English immersion groups, and in the after-school drawing group I facilitate. Teaching geometry? Art project! Learn about Quebec history? Draw maps and use visual note-taking. Art is a powerful learning tool, and an essential 21st century skill.

How did Concordia’s ARTE program prepare you for what you are presently doing?

The reflective approach of the Art Education program is what I find the most useful in my teaching practice. To face the many challenges of the public school system, you need to know yourself, have a lot of compassion and a strong reflective practice.

While working with colleagues on the Projet Éducatif for our school, we discussed how student-teachers and teachers tend to focus on the academic aspect of teaching, whereas the interactions, the social skills and the cross-curricular competencies are often neglected. In the Art Education program, these competencies were highlighted, valued and prioritized. I feel more prepared to face the challenges of 21st century education because of my ARTE background.

Describe one of your positive formative experiences while you were in the program at Concordia

I have to say that the interactions with peers and faculty were what made the greatest impact. In the last year of the program, we were all in our final practicums but we also had a class where we prepared a teaching portfolio, practiced for interviews and got hands-on information from graduates, school principals and teachers unions. This class was a shared safe space that helped me feel prepared and supported for the upcoming journey. This formative experience highlights what the ARTE program does great: preparing teachers for a sustainable and enjoyable experience in the complex and ever changing education system.

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