Educators from across the province are taking big steps to help young people get ready for life after high school.
We first met Stephen Macinnis at Salmon Arm Secondary when we met his Explore-a-Trades sampler class. Mr. Macinnis started his career in the trades and when an injury cut his time on site short, he knew he wanted to find a way to still be connected to the industry.
After a friend and colleague mentioned his experience as a trainer on site would make him a really great teacher, he began the process of exploring how he could get into providing trades training and found his way into the classroom.
In Mr. Macinnis’ words, teaching is an awesome way to still be involved in what he loves and share his knowledge with the next generation of industry professionals.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an educator?
The lights coming on. Figuratively and literally – when they actually connect the wires or have an ‘aha moment’. It’s an amazing feeling to see that win!
What is the hardest aspect of being an educator?
As a young person I had to overcome dyslexia, so I can understand what some kids are facing. I strive to do right by the kids and try to be agile in my teaching style so that they have the best change of understanding. I always try to do my best and be aware that not everyone learns the same way.
How has the Construction Ready team made a difference in your classroom?
Having Dave come in and talk about the real world and his career path provides students with a new perspective. When they hear the stories around the money that can be made, it really sinks in for them. The connections that your team has helped to create with local employers has been huge! There is potential for work in the area and these students are meeting local business people who care about their futures.
I’ve also been using The Rubric to help students assess where they are at the beginning, middle and end of the term. It is an excellent tool for them to be real – acknowledge where they actually are. I implore the students to be real. No one is perfect, and we can all still learn and get better.
Do you have any advice for kids who might want to take a trades class?
Just try it. This is the place to make mistakes – it’s a safe place to learn. Once you get out into the workforce, lessons are harder to learn. In a shop class you can experience what life onsite is like before it gets real.