RDC Electrician instructor Terry Welch received a special honour on Friday, April 21, when he was presented with the 2016 Top Instructor Award for the south region by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board.
The award recognizes the top two instructors in Alberta – one from the north and one from the south, and it is presented to apprenticeship and industry training instructors who have performed above and beyond the regular requirements of their roles. The award is nomination based, and Welch did not know that one of his former students had submitted his name for consideration.
“Terry is outstanding because he is passionate about his trade and his students,” Welch’s student wrote in the nomination package. “He truly cares for everyone’s success and pushes us to exceed our own expectations. He is the best teacher I’ve ever had. He did more for us than just have us pass our TQ: he taught me so much about how to be a better electrician. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have been in his class.”
For Welch, who has been a faculty member with the Electrician program in the School of Trades and Technologies since 2007, receiving the award is a special highlight. “This was truly a surprise, and I’m very honoured that one of my students took the time to nominate me and greatly honoured to receive this award,” he says. “When I think about my work, nothing is more rewarding for me than to be able to help someone improve and accomplish their goals. It’s very special to be able to be a part of it.”
In the classroom, Welch creates an interactive learning environment, where students are encouraged to participate in the discussions. He also strives to get to know his students, helping to reduce learning apprehensions they may have and supporting them if they have questions during or after class. Welch also applies his knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, volunteering as the trainer for RDC’s Electrical competitor for World Skills International Competition in 2008-09 and travelling to Haiti in 2015 to assist Haiti Arise Vocational College in setting up their electrical lab space and improving their curriculum.
Outside of his Electrician instructor role, Welch applies many of these same principles to his work coaching. He has coached in Red Deer Minor Hockey since 2007, and he has been with the RDC Kings Hockey program for the last four years, taking on the role of Video Coach this past season. “I have a lot of respect for our student-athletes for both how hard they train and compete,” he says. “It’s been a great experience working with the Kings coaching staff and players.”
Through his instructing and coaching activities, Welch contributes to the College and the community. “Terry is a tremendous instructor who uses a variety of methods to connect with and support students, and he’s very deserving of the 2016 Top Instructor Award,” says Joel Gingrich, Dean, School of Trades and Technologies. “He has such a passion for both teaching and coaching, and he’s incredibly driven to keep learning in both areas. What he learns in one area, he successfully applies in the other, drawing on his coaching experience to help students, and on his teaching experience to help athletes.”
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