Count, Think and Live!

Teaching in the Time of Lockdown

By Chrystelle Richard, Associate Professor of Financial Accounting and Sustainable Reporting. Chrystelle sees her teaching as the transmission of a treasure that is knowledge. She offers her students a demanding curriculum of techniques and expertise that are essential to the conquest of their own freedom to think and decide.

Chrystelle Richard received the Teaching Excellence award 2021, in the category “Permanent Professors”.

The ESSEC Foundation’s “Teaching Award” is an inspiring and invaluable prize because it is the result of a vote by students and participants from the School. I would like to thank all of them for having distinguished my teaching: I am fully aware of how lucky I am to work with the ESSEC students and my commitment to them lives up to the regard I have for them. I would like to share this award with my colleagues and friends, the lecturers and the audit partners who expressed their complete confidence in me. I could not be a professor without our uninterrupted and often impromptu conversations, without this educational community, in the noble sense of the word.

I teach accounting in all its forms, a subject often considered to be boring! My conviction, the one I try to pass on, is that the figure is a nuanced technical construction, representing a complex economic reality and having confirmed social and political translations. Accounting is a full-fledged language, an open window on our world today, essential for responding to the urgency of the ecological and social transition. In the thick of my teaching is the demand to make students aware of the issues at stake in a way of counting, to make them perceive the transformative potential of the accounting figure, and to encourage them to think about how to count what really counts.

These two last years were unprecedented and very special, with the closing of the campuses and the sudden switch to distance learning in March 2020. During this period of strong shocks and sometimes existential uncertainties, my will was to firmly hold the Ariane’s thread, so that none of my students would get lost in the meanders of the health crisis and that everyone would continue to think and move forward. We turned on the cameras, plugged in the microphones, zoomed in and shared the screens, phosphorated in the breakout rooms and scribbled on tablets, mixed synchronous and asynchronous… All means were good to redeploy classroom life in a digital space, to give the desire to connect and to be present (even at a distance), to revive the social link and the sense of being together, to rediscover the energy to learn and understand, and in fine to work on being ever more master of one’s life.

The 2021 ESSEC Foundation Ceremony at glance

On September 22, the annual ESSEC Foundation ceremony took place at the Hotel Potocki in Paris. A solemn and moving event which brought together the ESSEC community in its diversity around equal opportunities and academic excellence.