She’s spent her entire career working with at-risk children and youth.
But in her current role as an instructor for the Red River College’s Youth Recreation Activity Worker program, Kerry Coulter gets to re-connect with many of those same kids as they prepare to make a similar difference in the lives of others.
“My students are youth with multiple barriers, so often times they’re kids I used to work with, but now they’re all grown up and seeking access to post-secondary [education], and a supportive environment in which to be successful,” says Coulter.
“It’s full circle. These students want to go back and be helpers in their own communities … They grow up, come to college, and are trained and educated in how to be helpers themselves.”
The recipient of this year’s RRC Students’ Association Teaching Award of Excellence, Coulter has been a Youth Rec instructor since 2002. Before that, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba (and later, a Masters degree in Education from Central Michigan University), and worked for a number of child and youth care organizations, including Child and Family Services and adolescent treatment centre New Directions.
Each year, the College’s Youth Rec program trains 16 participants — many of whom face socio-economic barriers themselves — to work with inner city youth as recreational leaders. Graduates of the program often find jobs with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg (a program partner) and other inner city youth agencies, or as childhood educators and teachers’ aides. Read More →
Between them, they have a combined 32 years of experience as instructors for Red River College’s School of Continuing Education.
And this year, they find themselves the very worthy recipients of ConEd’s Teaching Excellence Awards, presented annually to those who demonstrate innovative and effective teaching practices, a willingness to assist and mentor students, and an appreciation for (and response to) diversity among students.
Debbie Phythian, 2017 Teaching Excellence Award winner
The first of this year’s winners, Debbie Phythian, has taught ConEd’s Aboriginal Child Care post-diploma certificate for more than two decades.
A dedicated mentor who is student-centric in her approach, Debbie is known for going above and beyond to ensure her students get the most from their learning experiences.
For their part, students tend to appreciate how quickly Debbie responds to their questions and concerns, and how committed she is to providing helpful and informed feedback on their assignments and their progress.
“She is passionate about the program, the content and her students — and it shows,” according to her nominators. Read More →
Talk about a stitch in time. Jan Bones has been teaching clothing design for nearly 40 years.
An instructor teaching Apparel Design courses at Red River College, Bones began her teaching career in 1978 at the University of Manitoba.
In 2008, after courses at the U of M were discontinued, Bones seamlessly transitioned to RRC, albeit with the help of a human ecology lab at the university for the first two years. Now, the Apparel Design courses are housed in the Heritage Room at RRC’s Princess Street Campus.
Bones says teaching students about pattern design and garment construction is still spools of fun, even four decades in.
“For me, it’s the giving of information and watching people take that information in a way they can fit it into their choice of design work,” Bones says. “It’s watching the lightbulbs go on in class.”
“I enjoy the students immensely. I enjoy the classroom setting, I enjoy their questions, and watching them shine, watching them learn something new and shine.”
“Everybody has a creative spirt. They might be a fabulous bread maker or great mechanic or a great house painter — everyone has something in them that is creative. I have the joy of helping students figure out if designing patterns is their creative spirit.” Read More →