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Teresa Phillips – A Teacher’s Passion

Teresa Phillips – A Teacher’s Passion

Teresa is a perfect example of an outstanding teacher. She thrives on the success of her students and their sense of accomplishment. Teresa is a teacher by trade with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Education. About 10 years ago, she found herself searching for a job as a high school teacher in her district. “I had planned to work in secondary schools, but district demographics had changed,” she said. “Schools were closing due to decreased enrollment, so I had to think outside the box. At SkillPlan, I found the career I have today working with adult learners on their own career journeys — and I love it!”

“I really enjoy helping people understand things.”

Teresa has now been at SkillPlan for over 10 years and enjoys working with a variety of apprentices and pre-apprentices, “I love it when their light bulbs go off. When students finally understand something that has been a challenge, their self-confidence soars. That sense of accomplishment in their learning is a high for me. I absolutely love it”.

“That connection and trust when helping someone is essential”

Teresa has the privilege of working with many Indigenous students. “From my experience speaking with the students, I think today there is a lot more outreach of quality training experiences for the Indigenous communities. I think social media has been helpful to get the word out. More organizations are able to access funding for quality projects and quality delivery partners for those kinds of programs.”

“I get to work with students who want to be in school and are eager to learn.
I find it very enjoyable.”

As the trades workforce becomes more diverse, specific measures must be in place to attract and retain Indigenous employees. “I think people need to understand where the students’ skill gaps are and to address them with understanding and compassion. It is also very beneficial to provide financial assistance and support to help address personal barriers that the applicants may have. For example, having a living allowance is very important so that they can focus on school. Any kind of support around childcare and transportation makes a huge difference.”

Teresa is a brilliant educator who has an evident passion for her work and the people she works with. She is a great resource to connect with and someone you can count on for support and encouragement on your journey into the skilled trades.

Written by: Savannah Davis, ClearWater Communications Co.

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