Gurpreet is one of the most talented and respected teachers that ProSafe has to offer. Originally from India, she immigrated to Canada in 2017 and has forged herself an impressive career as an instructor. Although her background lies in the field of chemistry, she is just as passionate about teaching First Aid, and always finds new ways to make her classes engaging and exciting.
What brings you to ProSafe? What do you like about it?
Before ProSafe, I was working with a few other companies as a freelancer. Though I was keeping busy, I always felt the need to work more. Unlike back in India, which has a different system, in Canada you can work as much as you want – after moving here, that really helped drive me forward.
When I first went to ProSafe, I met David [ProSafe's Director of Education]. Right away, I was excited to witness how he worked with others and how the team collaborated overall. Everyone was so awesome that I got emotionally tied to the team very quickly.
The ProSafe team has helped me out a lot too – when I was pregnant with my first child, I needed to work, but wasn’t able to act as a hands-on instructor all the time. The team recognized this and made sure that I always had things to do on the office side of things. That worked out really well, and, since then, I have been one of the members of ProSafe who is present at the opening of new campuses, at career fairs, and basically anywhere where I know I can contribute.
What is your favourite part about being an instructor?
Honestly, the feeling of instant gratification when I look into my students’ eyes. They look at me very brightly and it makes me realize that they completely understand what I am saying--they acknowledge and appreciate the knowledge I am passing on to them. No matter what I am teaching, the feeling this gives me is priceless. Going home at the end of the day knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life, that I have been able to help someone in some way, is amazing.
When it comes to training others, what techniques work best?
Teaching First Aid is very different from teaching high school chemistry. When you are teaching chemistry, students will pay attention because they may want to consider integrating it into their future careers. When people are in First Aid class, they are often there because their work is making them attend, so it is essential that instructors find ways to keep them focused and attentive.
This process starts by explaining to the class just why First Aid is so important. To help them stay engaged, it is best to give lots of examples and also rationalize and walk them through every single part of the process you are teaching. By following those steps, it is much easier to emphasize why this knowledge is so important.
People ask me why they have to get certified every three years – I emphasize that this is because the skills can be quickly forgotten, but you never know when they may come in handy. Re-certification is essential because it helps recall First Aid techniques that are forgotten over time.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The biggest challenge is similar to what makes the job so amazing – you have to be able to explain in great detail how First Aid processes actually work. When you are dealing with classes of people who may not be particularly engaged in the subject matter, there can be issues getting them properly involved in the lessons.
For me, personally, there can be a sense of monotony that comes with teaching the same classes over and over. If I know that I am going to be instructing the same course five times in a week, I plan ahead to find little ways to tweak the content so that the work I do is more diverse. Avoiding this feeling of repetitiveness is important to me, so I am always mindful of the way that I construct my schedule.
What would you say for people who want to follow a similar career path as yours?
For me, I never thought that First Aid would become a full-time position. At first, I thought that I would instruct these courses on the side and focus most of my efforts on teaching chemistry. Now, I am so satisfied with what I do that I want to teach First Aid exclusively. Because of this level of enjoyment, I have started to go out of my way to teach more advanced courses, such as First Aid Level Two. In the future, I want to be able to teach paramedics and even possibly at the Justice Institute – those are my biggest professional goals at the moment.
If you had to give a shout out to someone at ProSafe, who would it be?
David and Colin [Colin Lau, President at ProSafe] are the two of the main reasons why I have been with ProSafe for two years. I have worked many other places as a freelancer, but none of them have provided me with the feeling of being a part of a family quite like this company. The work culture is great, talent is appreciated, and everyone works so well together. David and Colin are just so awesome!