In shop, I teach two blocks of high school, and I teach two blocks of middle school. I see the high school students every day. I see a different group of middle school students every other day.
My class sizes are small. In high school, I have 6-8 students. In middle school, 10-12. Whenever someone talks about needing smaller class sizes, listen! It's like a different job. The give to the take is you're often dealing with multiple grades, maturity level, and course content in the same room. A challenge, but I don't mind.
The students had limited exposure to shop class prior to my arrival. Again, the shop was open and it was supervised, but limited structure and content instruction was done. The student interest is there, and now that we've added an element of visual results, more and more students are interested.
We are a small rural town. A graduating class here is about 10 students. Kindergarten through 12th grade are all in the same building. The small size leaves very little room for rivalries. Here, acceptance of others among the students is the highest I've seen than anywhere.
When I speak of making makers, these are the makers I'm making. They ride snowmobiles, go ice-fishing, and cut firewood. Some of them have already been "making" for most of their lives. Some of them not.
I have a lot of fun with them.When I can submit attendance with no absentees, I say, "All of my favorite students are here." They chuckle, and know its true.