Teaching Redux - Long


Folks -
Well, I'm back from the Front with my report! Whoooeeeeeee..... What a gas! I thought I'd have 15 kids in my first class at 9:30, so I went a little before 8 to make copies of things for them and to make additional preparation... Turns out that somehow there were glitches in admin, so I only had 5 students and a single class, not 15 for 3 classes... I was nervous at first, but as soon as I started talking about woodworking I got comfortable. I was really surprised at just how fast the time went - the class was 90 minutes and POOF... it only seemed like a few minutes. I had a blast, and I *think* I see a spark in a couple of the kids - it's a start.
Anyway, of the five students, the only joints that they could name were "fattie", "blunt" and "smoked".... I can see I'll need to be more careful of double entendres in my plans.... 3 of the students are new to WW, the other two "Knew Everything" (I know, because they told me), but it turns out that they hadn't actually *built* anything.... ANYTHING.... in 3 semesters of WW Shop. One of the kids that "knew everything" was wearing SLIPPERS.... I called him on it, and his only response was that he had the "right" to be comfortable. So, the upshot.... NO slippers in shop, comfort or not... Jeez....
All I talked about yesterday was safety. I kept things VERY general as to how accidents occur and the mechanics involved - describing my own very close call last summer with Mr. Pinkie vs. Mr. Woodworker II at Mr. General 350's house.... It got their attention. One of the things that I tried to stress is that the nature of an accident is that you CANNOT react fast enough in a dangerous situation to prevent injury. I talked about how many MPH the tip of a sawblade (or router bit) travels at vs. how fast a nerve signal travels and how the sawblade tip has nerve speed beat by at least 30 mph - every time. I did a demonstration with several of the students testing their reaction times in grabbing a dollar bill (an old bar trick, any of you ever try it?) that was released between their fingers - not one student could catch it... so, I think that should stick with them... at least until they put their slippers back on and have a blunt.
Finally, we walked around the shop and I identified each tool, what its' general purpose was in the shop and a leededle bit about how it worked. More on that with a formal lesson later, but it was a start.
A former teacher's aide came by and gave me a quick run down on some "shop history" - I'll have more questions, but now I know what some of the piles of parts are all about..... One thing that is frustrating tho'.... There are stacks of short pcs of cedar, resawn from 4/4 stock - hundreds of pcs.... Some have very narrow grooves cut in them.... these were a big class project from a year or two ago to build a WHOLE bunch of small boxes. Well, that's okay, but the TA that did all of the work, really didn't pay attention to what he was doing. All of the stock is resawn, and cut to length, but it wasn't surfaced after it was resawn! So, I have a bunch of 4 and 6" pcs of cedar with thicknesses varying between 3/16" and 3/8" with "resaw rash" and dadoes cut only in the front and back pcs. The TA said that the all of the pcs "still need planing" and the sides (the 4") pcs. still need dadoes cut. Lord! So, what the heck am I going to do with all of this stock that would be impossible/dangerous to surface and cut? The other thing that was a real pisser is that I found several 8 and 10/4 oak boards, about 2' long and 8 to 10" wide.... beautiful stuff, but too light.... until I turned them over and found that they had been used as "practice" for drilling holes.... dozens of.....holes..... drilled in 10/4 oak planks....
There are a whole bunch of unfinished/unknown projects laying about... the predominant theme appears to be "Biker Chic" - I have more mirror frames with "flame - tattoo" outlines than I can shake, well, a stick at.... and the finish of choice BAR NONE... is....... Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane... So, I found out what this means is:
Got a pine jewelry box? Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane... Got a cherry cutting board? Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane... Got an giant mushroom labeled "shroom" scroll sawn out of QSWO? Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane... Got a giant mahogany marijuana leaf? Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane... Got a set of maple book ends? Burn it with the propane torch, wire brush it off, and cover it with polyurethane...
I found the torch.... the spare bottle of propane..... made a special trip and presented them as a gift to the maintenance dept, with a note to tell them that woodshop didn't need them anymore and thanks!
My next class is tomorrow..... same kids.... I am going to start talking about measuring, marking and layout. All told, I think I did okay... so.....
I'd also like to thank ALL of you for your remarks and encouragement... I really do appreciate the feedback from those of you that have taught and are willing to share your insights.
More to come!
John Moorhead
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think that you can still get a burn permit through April in your county. Otherwise, that wood stuff should be accepted at the recycling facility.
Glad you're having fun!
Patriarch, who doesn't think the kids sound all that unusual, or particularly different than back in the sixities, but then, I live 15 miles from the Peoples' Republic of Berkeley.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Moorhead wrote:

Being a little thick headed, I had to dorp a few heavy items on my feet a few times before I learned not to work in the shop bare footed. Now I have, believe it or not, steel toed walking shoes that look just like running shoes. New Balance makes them...
Anyway, "accidentally" drop a hammer or something of that sort on his foot. He will eventually catch on....
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Sandals... I used to do a lot of soldering of copper sculpture stuff.
Guess what happens when a stray blob of solder lands on a sandaled foot.
Ouch.
Now I are a believer in wearing boots at least, although mine are steel-toed.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Silvan wrote:

I much prefer working in sandals. Picked up that habit in the tropics. Are you suggesting I re-think it just because of my carving tools and the lathe? :-)
At least I added socks as a protective measure... Wonder if I can get them in teflon - like my glove?
--
Will
Occasional Techno-geek
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 09:09:01 -0500, the inscrutable WillR

Y'think?
If you meant Kevlar, the answer is "Yes!"
---------------------------------------------------------- Please return Stewardess to her original upright position. -------------------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Tagline-based T-shirts!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Jaques wrote:

Apparently not!

If you are serious -- I will look.
Can't handle standing in shoes all day. Got in the habit of sandals after a few years down south off and on - am no longer curable. Feet are wider...

-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 14:03:44 -0500, the inscrutable WillR

Indubitably.
Yes, I was. http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Socks/product_88729.shtml DAGS for "kevlar clothing". You'll be surprised.

Tack kevlar cloth, perhaps from a set of sleeves, over the top of the sandals. Instant pseudo-shoes with open, airy toes.
---------------------------------------------------------- Please return Stewardess to her original upright position. -------------------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Tagline-based T-shirts!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Jaques wrote:

Uh Thanks -- I think. LOL
But probably more like... Instant pseudo-shoes with open, hairy toes.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Moorhead said:

Ahh. High School!- Bringing back memories.
John, please keep us informed, I'm sure that as soon as they actually make something worthwhile that looks good (maybe finished with a torch, wire brush and poly), they'll become believers!
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John -
Very interesting read! Brings back lots of memories. Please try to keep us informed as you go - it really is fascinating. You sound like you have it gauged pretty well - now you can have some fun.
Vic
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

More proof you're having fun and good at this...

To me - that's to *best* thing about teaching. Seeing the light bulb flicker, then get brighter and brighter...

I've got a slew of teachers in the family tree - all at somepoint get worn down by this. The attitudes. Also known as "Kids these days!?!!?"
The hard part is not letting these kids get to you. Concentrate your effort on those that give a darn and want to learn.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Moorhead wrote:

Congratulations on a successful first day. In the past, I taught computer classes and seeing a glimmer of interest in even one student makes it all worth while. Have fun with it.     mahalo,     jo4hn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are useless. Send them to me and I'll burn them with propane, wirebrush, coat with poly and turn into a nice substantial workbench - hole side down.
-j
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Glad the first day went well. Your comment here got me thinking. In three semesters, the kid is either very bored or does not care as long as he gets a good grade. I'd get a tool in their hands ASAP, even just to drill a hole or bang a nail so they feel as though it is a "hands on" shop.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Moorhead wrote:

<grin>
Welcome back, Kotter!!!
You may want to watch some reruns of that old show. There are a couple of gems in there. (Well okay, just a couple.)
You're surely not teaching in a parochial school but there's nothing wrong with introducing the concept of Sin with respect to the treatment of that 10/4 hole-filled board. Particularly in this day and age.
As for the cedar bits, I dunno, you got a bandsaw and stationary belt sander in that shop of yours? Make chess board squares out of them or something.
And surely anything that you get these kids to build will doubtless become a cherished heirloom with them. Do it.
And make dang sure you step (accidentally on purpose, of course) on Old Slipper Shoes, the little twit! That'll teach him.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If he's not in a private school of some sort, the kids will wear what they please. Try to ban merely highly suggestive or even openly obscene t-shirts and find out what a hornets' nest you stir up.
Dress can be a real problem when one of the females stoops to check the cut line at the CMS while wearing hiphuggers. I moved the router table before some kid lost a finger....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey Mr. Borehead... I mean Moorhead, why do I havta learn this crap? I can buy all this stuff at the Try'N'Save or Megalomart for just a couplabucks and I don't have to get splinters or measure or plan or think or nuthin'. What's the point anyways? I mean everything's all about computers now anyways. All this is for old farts stuck in the past.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.