Cooking up Creativity Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Photo credit: CBC/Geoff George Photo

Some people say life is an adventure, but Loïc FauteuxGoulet, MEd’ 18, brings that adventure to life.

“I didn’t decide to become a teacher; it just happened,” says FauteuxGoulet. “As a teenager, I was drawn to sharing my skills. I sailed a lot, and then I became an instructor. I studied photography, and I preferred helping others more than doing my own projects. Teaching felt like a natural extension of my desire to help others succeed.”

Trained as a primary generalist in Quebec, FauteuxGoulet found his calling in an interdisciplinary approach to teaching. “I didn’t want to be confined to just one subject. Primary education allowed me to bring together various topics in a way that felt creative.”

Not one to turn down an opportunity for adventure, after teaching in Quebec for several years, FauteuxGoulet moved to BC — and then around BC, including the island and the Okanagan. Following completing his master’s through the School of Education, he moved up North to support and offer in-service training to teachers, cycled from Vancouver BC to San Diego, California, and lived in Scotland, before finally settling down in Creston, BC nearly two years ago.

Creston, with its tight-knit community became an ideal location for his teaching endeavors. “The community here rallies around projects, and engages with new ideas. It’s what drew my partner and I here. It’s a place where everyone shows up, where everyone is interested in each other’s success.”

FauteuxGoulet is currently teaching high-school French and Culinary Arts. He continuously strives to challenge his students in creative ways — whether that’s through gamification in class, or empowering them to explore their own ideas. His MEd project had assessed the concepts of creative and critical thinking, and he continues to take those lessons into his classroom today.

“I had always been interested in defining those concepts, and how the way we think about them influences how we teach, and assess, and how in turn it affects how our students think about themselves as creative and critical thinkers,” he says. “I wanted my work to contribute to a broader view of creative and critical thinking in the curriculum that extends beyond the traditional art forms. Reflecting on my master’s, I learned to avoid echo chambers, and adopt an interdisciplinary teaching approach that explores diverse perspectives and combines ideas, whether in languages or culinary arts.”

Photo credit: CBC/Geoff George Photo

As someone that has a passion for the culinary arts, he enjoys watching baking competition shows for both entertainment and inspiration. One of his favourites is the Great Canadian Baking Show.

“As you watch the season, you see these bakers in the finale that are so much better than when they first started. You’re baking under constraint, and pushing your creativity and skills. It’s what really appealed to me. The idea of putting myself in a situation where I’d have to push and further my skills to succeed.”

In addition to the appeal of developing on a personal level, he appreciated that the show has a great element of friendship and collaboration which ultimately motivated him to apply. Not only did he successfully make it on to the show, he was the winner of Season 7!

Photo credit: CBC/Geoff George Photo

“The show highlighted the value of preparation. Anticipating challenges and being resourceful became key to success, a lesson I now emphasize in my teaching,” he reflects. “It also highlighted the impact of personal connection on engagement and motivation. Planning my bakes, I discarded ideas that didn’t resonate, opting for projects with personal connections. I give a lot of freedom to my students, with the aim to encourage them to push their own boundaries rather than meet expectations.”

For new teachers, Fauteux-Goulet emphasizes the importance of not backing down to challenges that might deter their vision for their classroom.

“The reason why I’m still in education is because I never accepted feeling daunted by the workload, work environments, or other challenges. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, determined to create my own space in the classroom. My advice for teachers is to keep fighting to create their own learning environments. These are the spaces where real differences are made for students who may not fit into traditional settings.”

Fauteux-Goulet also re-affirms to never underestimate the impact that teachers and mentors make.

“I’ve been reflecting on former teachers and students recently, as many have reached out to congratulate me on the show. There are teachers I’ve had that I have thought about almost daily for the last 20 years. There are some that I was thinking about while under the tent. There are so many lessons I am still taking from them.”

One response to “Cooking up Creativity Inside and Outside of the Classroom”

  1. Martin Aller-Stead

    Congratulations, Chef!

    Your students will benefit greatly from both your passion and your knowledge. The challenge you’ll run into in public education is money … keep advocating for more money for your programs. School Boards will try to whittle your budget. Advocate with passion, in public. (Speaking from decades of experience on this!) Join Slow Foods Canada local chapter. Support your local team if you can.

    Parents will strongly support you. Kids will clamour to join your classes. You’ll make a difference in many lives you’ll never meet, but who will benefit from your skills and sharing. ALWAYS teach safety.

    Good on ya, Chef. Best wishes from my kitchen to yours.