Zazu Fontaine

What do you do at PSS and how long have you been here? I am the French teacher and a support educator in various classrooms.

What initially attracted you to work at PSS and what do you value about working here now? What attracted me here first was Heidi, the principal of the school. She is a lovingly strong and passionate woman, with whom I wanted to work and be a proud member of her team. Everything else made me stay.

I love the small classes so I can give attention to each of my students.
I love working with the students to figure out the best way they want to learn what I have to teach them.
I love how the staff is truly happy to be here.

What’s something you’ve learned teaching or working here? I learned to do a lot of origami! I also learned a lot about myself. I learned how much I love to teach and a fun way to teach so students have fun while they learn. I learned that information sticks better when you love what you are doing.

Which educator has influenced you the most in your life, and how? His name is François Desrocher. He was the best antiquity history teacher you could ever have. His lessons where dynamic. There was always a game to test our knowledge. He took a topic that could be boring and made it profoundly fun and interesting.

What do you look forward to in your role here each year? It’s a big dose of love every day.

What is an example of your approach to nurturing social, emotional, physical and intellectual learning in your work at PSS? I invented a series of role playing game adventures as a way to teach French. The students create their own characters, encounter French characters, and interact with them  in French in order to progress in the game. This method uses the same reading, writing, speaking and listening exercises as traditional French instruction but follows a more creative, narrative structure.

If you could bring anyone back to life and have dinner with them, who would it be? It would definitely be Simone De Beauvoir. She was an amazing human, activist, feminist before her time, teacher, writer, publisher, and woman who made things happen for the best of humanity.

What’s one item on your bucket list? My dream would be to walk all around the Mediterranean Sea from Spain to Morocco. I would take a year to do it and take my time. I would stop to read my book in little cafés, looking at the sea.

What educational background, or ongoing professional development, do you draw upon in your work at PSS? I have a degree in Recreation which is why my teaching is based on games. I’m planning on going back to university for more training education, language and neuroscience. I love being at school, as a teacher and as a student.