Dream Big Stories: Ms. Bernadette Abrioux

Dream Big fund

Math is a tough subject. It’s the one students tend to struggle with the most. But Senior School math teacher Ms. Bernadette Abrioux feels she has found the secret to making math less scary for students: she turns her lessons into a conversation.

“When I went to school my teacher wrote on a chalkboard with her back to the class at all times. At no time is my back to my students because teaching is a conversation,” she says. “A conversation means, ‘Let’s work through this together.’ I don’t ever want the kids to think it’s a case of me showing them what I know.”

As a result of Bernadette’s enthusiasm and commitment to her teaching, she’s seen students go from being math-haters to pursuing math-related fields at post-secondary institutions.

“You have to first get them to believe they can do the subject. Once they start to have a little bit of success, you pick that up and you run with it. I know that every student can learn high school math.”

And her situation isn’t unique. Many of our teachers have helped students grow as confident learners in a wide variety of subjects.

“It means that, as a school, we’ve helped them to overcome their fear or their anxiety about a subject. We’ve given them the ability to believe they can do that subject,” Bernadette says.

She adds that the Dream Big annual fund plays a big role in ensuring students have the best opportunities to succeed in not just in math but all of their subjects.

“If there’s something I know the students need to be successful, I’m fully supported by the annual fund to obtain whatever resources they need,” she says. “Without the annual fund we would have a lot fewer resources and we wouldn’t have as strong of an experiential program in our academic subjects. We would be missing some of what I consider to be the pieces that help students move forward as 21st Century learners.”

Bernadette and her husband, Middle School director Mr. Xavier Abrioux, are longtime supporters of the Dream Big annual fund because they “believe in kids.”

“We can’t let materials or resources hinder a student’s education. We want to ensure they have what they need to be successful,” she says. “When you support the Dream Big fund you’re investing in the future of a child. And if you invest in education, that’s the biggest investment in their future you can make. Our goal as a school is to send them into the world armed with a bag of tricks to help them survive whatever is going to come their way – that’s what the Dream Big fund lets us do.”


A Dream Takes A Team

You, too, can be their champion. Behind each SMUS student with a big dream is a team of people committed to helping make that dream a reality. That team includes teachers, counsellors, coaches and donors all working together to give each student the support needed to make their dreams real.

Please join us in supporting the Dream Big Fund.

Donate online at www.smus.ca/dreambig or contact Shara Campsall, Director of Annual Fund, at [email protected] or 250-370-6197.

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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