Marissa Majchrzak is a new teacher who arrived at Riverside in October. This is her second year working in the woodworking industry. She worked as a TOC at Pitt River Middle School until she was hired by Riverside Secondary in the middle of October. She is here to take over for Adam Martin, who was teaching Woodworking before but left to teach in Vancouver. Majchrzak was inspired to go into woodworking because she did it all through her high school years and since she had a passion for teaching, she decided to put them together. Coming to a new school can be hard as a student, but as a teacher, Majchrzak seems to be doing well. “This is probably one of my favourite schools; I knew I liked it before I got the job here and that is part of the reason why I said yes to working here,” said Majchrzak.
Throughout the years, there have not been a lot of female teachers in woodworking. “Surprisingly there are a lot of women who teach woodworking in Coquitlam,” explained Majchrzak, “but not a lot here.” Majchrak continued to share her opinion on the topic. “I would like to see more women get into it; I think we are growing,” said Majchrzak. Although there are not many female teachers, there are many female students in the woodworking class. According to Majchrzak, probably more than at any other schools. She believes having a female teacher does influence the students. “When I was doing my Bachelors at UBC, one of my inquiry projects was looking at whether girls were more likely to take shop classes if there was a female teacher. And overall it seems to make a difference,” said Majchrzak.
One of the Carpentry 11/12 students, Nisrine Marwan, feels more comfortable now that there is a female teacher. “I think it’s cool that we have a female shop teacher, because all the other shop teachers are guys,” said Marwan. She explained how most of the time, the classes are full of male students but, having a woman teaching makes her more comfortable when asking questions. “It’s kind of nice to have a female shop teacher. It makes it a bit easier to talk,” said Marwan. She took Woodworking 10 last year and continued this year because she prefers hands-on classes over sitting down in class and taking notes. Hopefully, a woman teaching this course will inspire more girls, like Nisrine Marwan, to take the class in the future here at Riverside.