Meet Trevor Fedderson, Carpentry instructor

Carpentry instructor Trevor Fedderson stands in the woodworking shop

'I like the idea of being a part of something that strives to transform people for the better'

Q: What is your education and background?

A: I always was working with wood and used my skills to put myself through school where I earned a BA in Youth Ministry with a minor in Psychology. I was using my BA to work with youth and young adults in a church setting. Eventually, I found myself getting back into Carpentry. It was a passion of mine that I couldn’t get away from.  After I decided to leave the church setting, I was not ticketed but had a lot of experience in Carpentry so I decided to enroll in apprenticeship training at Okanagan College. After becoming Red Seal endorsed, I started my own construction company and started to take on different types of projects. I completed the Professional Instructor Diploma program and have been an instructor for about seven years now at OC.

Q: What is your area of interest?

A: I really enjoy education and teaching Carpentry at OC. I love seeing the lights go on for students and seeing tough topics get understood by students. It’s rewarding for me to see them become passionate about what they’ve just discovered.

Q: When did you know you had found your discipline?

A: Woodworking has always been an interest of mine and I have always really enjoyed it. I feel like becoming an instructor has been my true calling, though. I think the feedback I get from students was confirming that I’m doing the right thing. I hear that they too get excited about learning when they see that I’m excited to teach.

Q: Why did you choose to work at Okanagan College?

A: I love the mission statement of “Okanagan College transforms lives and communities.” I like the idea of being a part of something that strives to transform people for the better. 

Q: What do you like most about the work you do?

A:  The interaction I have at work with my colleagues and my students puts me in a pretty cool environment to be a continual learner. It’s not just my students who are here to learn, I feel like I also get to learn something new almost every day.

Q: Favourite teaching experience?

A: Many so far!  But most memorably was seeing a student that I taught for three out of four levels of apprenticeship training represent Okanagan College at the 2018 Skills Canada competition, placing Gold at the Provincials and then continuing to Nationals where he placed Silver. I was really proud of him.

Q: Who gave you the best advice you ever received?

A:  I remember being discouraged after one class earlier on in my career as I was trying to figure out how I was going to remember everything I needed to know as an instructor. A fellow OC Carpentry instructor, Tim Dorn, told me that 80% of what he now knows he learned here at the College. That was encouraging to me. I thought that when I started instructing there was an expectation that I needed to know it all. It just goes to show that just because you have ticket in hand it doesn’t mean that you have to know absolutely everything about the trade.

Q: What advice do you have for new students?

A: “Learn to learn.” When I was younger, I wish my previous instructors made curriculum more practical. I was always told that we were being taught things because they were in the course curriculum. I wish that earlier on teachers would have said something like, “It’s not necessarily about the content or topic, it’s about learning how to learn,” or maybe something like, “Hey Trevor, let’s look how we can apply what you’re learning to some practical life stuff.” I think that would have helped me a lot and it is something that I now try to do for my students.

Q: Why do you think people should study Trades?

A: Developing practical skills that are applicable in life I think is why people should study a trade. I hear Carpentry is pretty cool, you should check it out!

Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently?

A: The million dollar question. I’d buy Bitcoin.

Q: Where are you the happiest?

A: With my wife and kids around a campfire

Published By Public Affairs on December 8, 2020

Carpentry studies

Build a career you can be proud of by training in carpentry, joinery or both. All construction trades programs cover the practical and theoretical skills required to become industry-ready.

Explore carpentry

Trades studies

The tools for your future are here. Okanagan College offers the newest equipment and technologies in state-of-the-art training facilities located in Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, and Penticton. Students master skills taught by industry-leading instructors while gaining hands-on experience. Learn in small classes, in more than 20 different programs that have provincial, national and international recognition. Whether you are seeking Red Seal certification or one-time specialty industry training, education at OC sets you up for a successful career.

Explore trades