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Profile: hammersmith
User Name: hammersmith
Forum Rank: Newbie
Real Name:
Location Alameda, calif
Occupation: Industrial Design, Modelmaking
Gender: Male
Joined: Sunday, March 01, 2009
Last Visit: Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:11:19 PM
Number of Posts: 0
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Last 10 Posts
Topic: I'm new and have some questions for you please.
Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2009 7:55:31 PM
Hello Mr B and others,
This is such a necessary thread I just wish it were someone besides other shop teachers to read it
(anybody know how to post this to Prez. Obama's twitter account?)

One starts with all the energy of a hurricane for sure, but it was the excess of discipline plus money issues (not pay but funding) that got to me most. When I got to my school the industrial arts were all but dead, if it wasn't for the ROP funding there would not have been any CTE courses at all so the core was stripped from the curriculum no one not even the district administrators knew what they had lost.

Back in my day,and I am 50, we had to start with 10 weeks each in our choice of elective classes (four different that year with drafting being mandatory.)The second and third years you could pick
and there was a waiting list. Now they almost use it for a punishment due to overcrowding.The counselors just put kids wherever they can regardless of whether there is any interest in the course.

My best class was drafting and design, unfortunately also the most expensive due to the computer software license and equipment.
18 scholarships! That had never even come close to happening before, these students still call and keep in touch with me at my university, so I can't leave an all bad impression. I did reach a vital few and perhaps that's all that is necessary.

Onto your questions; The NCLB requires that your main credential be for the course that you are teaching (Highly Qualified!)so regardless of the subject you teach or credential you hold your first job is teaching not training of industrial techniques or methodologies. Said another way it's a form of educationally entertaining kids through their adolescence. The shock of going from a woodshop that works and makes stuff to a classroom full of kids well being kids can kill or make some people crazy. I have seen seasoned teachers walk out and never come back from 65K positions!

Whatever you decide, do what you know and love, make beautiful things and plant trees.
Topic: I'm new and have some questions for you please.
Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:20:42 PM
Well, having just retired after an almost identical situation here in California, I can safely say it's not what you think
(teaching woodshop) and here is why. I taught high school so some of these points will either be more or less emphasized in jr high school.
Due to no child left behind (NCLB) you will be testing and doing a great many things, many many things that have NOTHING to do with wood or anything relating to it. It's about teaching children so if that's not your first calling defiantly think twice about it. In Calif. we have so few teachers period and even less for the vocational arts that in the past 20 years it has dropped from 36,000 programs statewide to less than 3000. Seems like a no brainer right? WRONG ! There isn't the money for facilities, counselors or even support from the administration to fund these vital courses even as industry all around me screams for trained workers.

If you still want to try it, I would agree with one of the previous posters and get your credential but with this caveat; get a Designated Vocational Credential specific to what you want to teach and not waste your time with classes that you don't need in the long term. I admired your altruism but my friend it's not worth it. Also the idea of going ROP is a good one due to the fact that their funding stream is separate from the categorical funding distributed to the rest of the state school funds.Woodshops are expensive and risky for schools ( regardless of your devotion or skill set, no parent wants to get a call from school that says Johnny or Susy got the fingers cut off) It's raging hormones, drugs, sex in the bathrooms, fights and then guess what? throw in POWER TOOLS!
You may start drinking now, it will save time later.

Lastly consider a private school or community college or even adult night school as a forum to share your skills.
(PS, I have moved onto teaching at the university level and love it!!)

I could write a book on this, sp feel free to post any additional questions

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