Meet Prof. Jean-François Deslandes: math teacher with top marks

Rudy Moley Faculty

Did you know that a longtime Marianopolis math professor was named one of the top instructors in colleges and universities across North America? His name is Jean-François Deslandes and his students love him. He is just one of Marianopolis College’s stellar professors. Watch what he told CTV’s Mutsumi Takahashi about teaching.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I played golf and hockey at a high level and considered a professional career, but eventually I put school first (with no regrets). I grew up in the Eastern Townships and did my Cégep in Granby. I moved to Montreal and started a double major in Mathematics and Physics, but actually completed my diploma at Simon Fraser University, where I also played varsity golf on the NCAA circuit. I came back to do a Masters in Applied Mathematics at Université de Montréal.

How many years have you been teaching here?

Although it feels as I’ve just set foot in this place, I have been teaching here more than 20 years! Time flies when you are having fun.

Which classes do you teach at Marianopolis?

I teach any (and preferably all) math courses we offer, from mise-à-niveau to university credited courses, throughout all programs. I must admit that the variety of courses we teach at Marianopolis is quite impressive.

How are you involved at the College outside the classroom?

I like to participate in as many student-teacher sports events as I can. My favourite is the soccer tournament organized in the fall as a fund-raiser. Oh yes, and participating in a Reach for the Top trivia challenge against our college team is a humbling experience every year.

What’s your favourite thing about teaching?

I love the fact there is nothing routine about teaching. Every course has its own ways of being presented, every program requires a different approach, every section has its special features and characters and every generation of students is different. It keeps me on my toes and interested. The challenge of staying connected, of getting across to the students is my favourite thing about teaching!

Are teachers accessible to students outside of the classroom?

Absolutely. I think Marianopolis teachers pride themselves in being accessible and open to students. It what sets us apart.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

I would encourage students to find a balanced lifestyle, plan a moment when you put away the books (and the cell phone), go jogging, go biking, watch a movie. That time usually doesn’t affect grades that much but does a world of good to your spirit.

I would also say that, yes, Marianopolis students want to succeed. Does that mean they are competitive against one another? Not from what I can tell. I see students working together, helping one another out, all the time.