GREAT FALLS — Brian Tucker is a welder by trade. Now, he teaches high school students the way of the torch. “It's been a learning experience. You know, I actually try to get what's in my head out to them.” He shared.
There may be no shortage of welders at this time, but he is keeping the population high in teaching the next generation.
Tucker’s students use their skills learned in the CMR Welding Shop in their ranch work. Trenton Hughes, a sophomore, is no exception.
“I've learned that you get into a well-needed skill on the ranches and stuff, you know, for like picket fences or trailers and all that stuff. And I've just had so many opportunities where I needed that skill, and I didn't.” Hughes said.
He’s a devoted worker when it comes to the torch and is eager to learn from his superior.
Mr. Tucker enjoys when the lightbulb goes off in the student’s head.
“It tells me that they're learning something, that they're, you know, wanting to learn. And when they're sitting there listening patiently in.”
Men dominate the trade - but Cadence Lehman is breaking the barrier for women in the profession.
“It's a little terrifying just because you don't see women do it. I have never met another girl that has done it ever. There are two girls in the class, and we both really enjoy it so far. And whether we go into welding or not, it's nice to know.” Lehman said. She is also a member of the CMR High school dance team.
There is no fear when entering the shop. Tucker does all he can to ensuring comfortability and learning are the top priority.
“There's a lot of new stuff in here that I don't know that how to use or like pressure gauges and all that stuff that I've ever had to do and stuff. So, it's OK to. You know, you never master a skill. You always learn new things every day,” said Hughes.
Lehman added, “It's definitely hard your first-year teaching, but he's done a great job so far, and all of us kids have had a lot of fun with it”
Brian is a member of the Assiniboine Sioux tribe in Fort Belknap - a role model for students in the classroom and halls.
“I've had my role models that I looked up to, you know, and I'm just happy where I am.” told Tucker.
“He's just really, he's there for you at all times. I think he brings a lot of joy and everything into the glass. Plus, he's super funny. He's really serious, but he's super funny,” said Hughes.
It’s only the start for Mr. Tucker in a long teaching career, but it’s his smile and devotion to teaching, that will make him successful.
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