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Clarkkent

Hola from British Columbia, Canada

8 posts in this topic

Well I am brand spanking new here. This is my very first post. So here goes... I am from BC, Canada... I have been building things most of my life. The next house I build will be my 164th. I also design houses. I do all my designs in full 3D.

Not to long ago I had some health problems that really changed my perspective on life. As a result I have re kindled my love of wood and using it to achieve my designs. I used a block plane for the first time last year and when that first shaving came off something just resonated in me.

I started volunteering at the school my kids used to go to and have been teaching wood-art & woodworking to grades 7-12 there for the past 3 months every afternoon for 3 hours. When I got there the shop was a disaster. The paid teacher there has given up mostly and just dosn't seem to have any passion for woodworking anymore.

I have brought most my tools to the school to help out the kids because the schools tools suck. The current teacher has allowed the kids to abuse just about everything there and as a result the kids had no respect for the shop, tools or woodworking as a result.

Well all that is changing now. I am very strict with the kids but because of my passion and drive I have been able to start getting the kids excited about woodworking. I believe that when a teacher is passionate about a subject the kids follow.

Anyway I could go on and on here... This post is turning out to be a lot longer than I intended it to be.

I have a passion to teach now... I am so excited to go into the shop everyday. I am so proud of the work the kids are doing. I don't make a dime doing it but it is the best job i have ever had! I wish we had money to buy tools we so desperately need... But hey... It all starts somewhere.

Marc... I love the site and appreciate all you have done for the community!

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Hi Clark - welcome! Love your enthusiasm, especially with teaching the kids.

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hi clark im also in a teaching position as the aid. i walk into the classroom in the same condition and over the last two years i have turned the shop around. be careful about your own tools in classroom as they can get broken or stolen very easily. i have got my own rolling tool chest with me at work that i lock my stuff up at night. the first thing i did was clean the place from top to bottom. i also introduced a unit on machine mantience to keep the tools in shape as they had not been worked on in at least 5 years. that way the tools get worked on and touched up every quarter. first day of the class i usualy have the kids play catch having them squeeze the ball, throw it around, touching several different textured surfaces. i then hand them a maniquin hand and have them repeat all the stuff they did with their hands. then i ask them why do i do this? and express that every machine will break, shater, cut, and strip the skin on the hand. and when i tell them to do something its for a reason not just to be a jerk or overly strict. safety is paramount in the classroom and if you cant act like an responsible adult then excuse yourself today and we will reasighn you. if you want contact me as maybe we can talk lesson plans and posible ways for you to get lumber, and tools that are posible.

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Thank you for your dedication to the Canadian youth, I hope they appreciate your time. I also feel for the teacher. He is probably burned out and worn down from years of the high demands the public school system requires, and has lost his love for his craft. Maybe you can restore some of it in him with your fine example.

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Duck kisser... Nice name... Ha! Not sure I want to ask what that's all about... Just messin with ya... Us Canadians are a lot more conservative... Or maybe it's just we have a higher alcohol content in our beer? Maybe it's because we can speak proper eh!

Anyway it sounds like in your post it was the same for you as it is for me. My tools are pretty safe there. If not that's what insurance is for. I have full control of our budget for the school in the facility maintenance dept. so if something of mine does go missing the school will replace it. The first thing I did when I got there was open an account at the 2 major tools stores in my city.

I get 3000 dollars a year for woodworking classes. This has to buy the matterials the kids use, tools we need to repair, replace or buy new and also it needs to cover any facility upgrades such as air lines for the compressor, air filters, filter bags for the dust collectors. You get the idea.

It's not a lot to work with. But I am sure it is better than some. I am not complaining at all. I will raise more money and go to every wood working shop in my city if I have to in order to get scraps for the kids to use.

I have been thinking about starting a blog to document my journey bringing the shop back from the place it was at. I mean some of it is pretty funny some not so.... I remember the first day of this new semester I turn around and look and the is this kid is literally on top the bench squatting there... I mean he has his feet up there and everything... In the middle of the bench. I say to him what the heck are you doing up there... One of the other kids in the class says he always does that even in his other classes.

This kid is in grade 11. I was a little shocked. Wood shop or not... That is a table and he was standing on it. I had flash backs of me as a kid myself... I was thinking geeez if my dad ever caught me doing that anywhere he would kick my ass. For that brief instant I could hear his voice in my head saying "is that how I raised you to show respect? Give your head a shake! I better not every catch you pulling a stunt like that again!!!" in that deep authoritative tone...

So I tell this kid to get down off there and I never want to see him doing that again! That was the last time he did it.... Until last week.

I was late getting to class because I had to pick up some hardwood so the wood shop teacher was all by himself... I walk into the shop and guess who is squatting in the middle of the bench again! It's this grade 11 kid... He figured I wasn't going to be there and we'll you can see what the result is. I tell him to get off my bench. The woodworking teacher says no it's ok I said he could... There i stand stunned... In my mind I doing a double take... Did he just say that. It's ok for a kid to get up and stand on a woodworking bench in a wood shop with tools all over the bench.

No wonder none of the kids have any respect for the tools in the shop! Or that teacher. He is the nicest guy you would ever meet... We get along great... But in that brief moment I felt like sticking him in a head lock... I could hear my dads voice again in my head! I won't say what he was saying or more accurately what he was yelling in my head.

Maybe I am wrong here... Perhaps it is a perfectly acceptable practice to have a kids stand up on a table then squat there perched like a frikkin parrot observing the class???? Haha!

In the interest of fairness here and my willingness to be corrected or learn from my mistakes... Let's take a pole here... How many of you think it is acceptable for a kid to stand up on a workbench then perch like a frikkin parrot?

Ok I stop here... Let me know if my posts are to long... My fingers hurt from all this typing... So if my post sucks you can just let me know and I can skip the cramps!

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no your right as any wood worker knows it takes less then a second to get hurt and if you treat the shop like a play ground you get hurt or someone else will. the kid was being reckless and the teacher should have steped up and told him that he should respect his classes especialy the shop as this classroom will cut off his hand. yesterday i made a kid walk out of the class and wait outside for 10 min while we got class in order. then i went in the hall and gave him no excuses talk when it comes to the shop. pulled out a folder and showed him people that had huge scars on face, missing eyes, missing finger, legs missing. i had him look at all the photos and then had him read the stories about how they all got hurt (some i made up :)) all the stories had one thing in common they were screwing around by the machines and they got hurt. its the teachers class so you have to respect what he said to the kid but i would discuss with him how safety is paramount and if the school wants your help then he needs to inforce safety in the shop.

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Why in the world would an adult allow one of his students to squat on a workbench? Makes no sense to me.

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Exactly! If you figure it out... Your a better man than I am... I am just stumped on that one.

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