As a retired "shop" teacher from Texas who was turned into a computer
teacher 'cause these students are all going to college' then a "tech"
teacher which is shop without the tools-- computer based, some of you
younger folks might even have taken my class or one like it... but I
, I feel compelled to jump in. BTW - I taught Middle school Industrial
technology-- so all of my comments are directed from that level
Teach safety, safety, safety, safety, safety, safety, safety, safety-
Make 'em pass a general safety test to do any kind of work with hand
tools-- (enforce your safety rules-- If kids are unsafe, they should be
sent to the office- or given whatever safety related
punishment/reinstruction (can I say punishment anymore these days?)
that will reinforce the rule that was broken.
I cannot stress enough that chronically unsafe children should not be
in the shop setting.!!!!! Before I would take on even a part time
situation like that I would have to come to some agreement with
administration on that factor alone. Most partents who have children in
a shop classroom expect you as a teacher, to look out for their kids.
I once told an administrator (and also the parent of a troubled youth-
consistant -safety violator) that "neither I nor they could afford to
have this student in a sharp tool enviornment-- the lawyers will eat us
up"-- BTW- the student was removed to another, safer elective.
I used to give a class on each power tool- along with the associated
safety rules & safety demonstration-and application demonstration- then
students had to pass a safety test on that tool before being allowed to
use it --Then they had to ask permission to use the tool & tell me what
they were going to use it for ( a chart, a listing of the names of
students who had passed each test could be posted (now a days, the
chart would most likely have to be your eyes only as not to embarass
someone & spark a lawsuit)was handy, so I could see which kid had
actually passed the test. Also, each student had to give me a
practical demonstration of the tool (also could be added to the chart).
No student was allowed to use the table saw-- Most were way too short &
didn't have the reach-- Only a few could use the band saw (tough test).
Most could use the jig saws , lathes, drill presses, stationary
sanders, and the jointer with my supervision only. Most could use the
surface planer-- but I had to inspect each glued up section for glue --
I made them scrape it ALL off-- sharpening the 'ol Powermatic was a
real pain. Power sanders -- vibrating- Rockewll- could only be used if
the area they were sanding was lager than the sanding pad of the
sander, Otherwise, they scraped & sanded if necessary.
If you are going to teach design, the kids almost have to be in the
class for a year. Typically, the kids I had were in my class for a
semester-- some only six weeks.
If you find yourself in that position-- semester first:
Safety many times-- Safety poster contest-- video is great
interdisciplinary coursework-- prize? up to you & the administration.
If the class is quick, you might be able to do a little design,
drafting & execution of projects.
9 weeks class-- almost impossible to teach design-- hard enough in 18
weeks-- best to have a number of demostration projects with available
plans after you do all the safety education & tool demonstrations
6 weeks-- hand tools only for a very limited selection of projects--
almost kits (you make the kits)
The less time you have with the kids, the more materials prep you will
have to do. That will take up your conference period and some after
Disclaimer: I'm not really advocating that kids be run through a
program tht only allows a set amount of sterile projects to be made--
Kids should have the ability to design, draw and implement anything
their hearts desire. The time I had with an individual child dwindled
from over two years (1976) as a two year possible elective-- to a
semester (1999)-- then the six graders started rotating every six
weeks----Remember one thing-- The kids will make what they see you
make, so show them quality stuff if possible---- sorry group-- got