To be successful at fly fishing, Marla Jones will tell you, it is vital to be patient and thoughtful in your approach. Although new to the art of fly fishing, having only picked it up a couple of years ago, she practices this philosophy every day in her role as Dental Assistant instructor.
“We have to be kind to ourselves and one another in this process,” she said. “I’ve learned that in striving to get to an end goal, each student takes a little different path. And that’s ok.”
Marla joined the Dental Assistant program as an instructor in 2007, but her history with the College began long before.
“After high school I attended what was then called East Kootenay Community College in the University Arts and Sciences program before transferring to a university to complete my Bachelor of Arts,” she said.
She then returned to the area, and to the renamed College of the Rockies, graduating from the Dental Assistant program she now teaches in.
“I absolutely love to see the transformation of a student from the beginning of the program to the end,” she said. “In a hands-on program like ours, students start out with very little or no experience in the field. It’s rewarding to see the confidence they gain by they time they graduate. They are ready to go out into practice and be a peer in the profession.”
Though instructing in the Dental Assistant program has been challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marla keeps true to her thoughtful approach to life.
“My hope is to be able to build strong relationships with our students when online, so they know how important relationships are when helping other people, she said. “I encourage students to always focus on the positive aspects of helping others, even on the tough days.”
An avid outdoorsperson who enjoys running, mountain biking, walking, snowshoeing and – of course – fly fishing, Marla is also invigorated by the ever-evolving nature of her chosen profession.
“I love that a Dental Assistant has the ability to help others,” she said. “We have a wide variety of duties and there is always something to learn in the field as new and evolving technology emerges.”