I love the constant growth experienced in students and in me. The skilled trades allow for new ideas and quick experimentation. Industrial Arts allows the facilitation of various student strengths. I love teaching to students’ personality and teaching Industrial Arts allows me to do so.
I love that I have the freedom to be flexible in my curriculum while still remaining in the skilled trades world. Our administration trusts my decisions, and I love that I can decide what to teach based on the audience, student interest, community need, and local employers’ needs. In one class I may be teaching CAD, Building Trades, and showing one student the welding requirements for a local fabrication shop. In another class we may be pouring a concrete driveway for a member of our neighborhood. Yet, in another class we are doing personalized woodworking projects.
Our school is small and I love that I get to use my flexibility, and my developing relationships with individual students to accommodate an almost completely individualized curriculum format.
I teach Industrial Arts because I can teach math, science, and even some English and history. I teach because everyday I get to handle brain power, the most miraculous energy source. I'm farming a delicate and elusive crop, with plants of every variety. There is no mono-culture in my job.
I teach because after and before juggling a few dozen bowling pins, things stop, they become calm as students are just doing. No discipline, no off-task behavior, just doing, and learning, and I could almost become invisible. I teach because, the eye of that storm, is a beautiful place to be.
I do what I do because there is a need for better minds, and I have just enough hope for myself that I can help deliver on that need.
*This was written in response to a question on the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence 2018 application. The question was: What do you love most about being a skilled trades teacher in general, and about what you teach in particular? Parts of my response were taken from a former post of mine: Why I do what I Do