Thursday, January 25, 2007

One of the things you will notice if you read very much in this blog is the participation of our teachers at Clear Spring School. The Wisdom of the Hands program would not be a success without them. You will see pictures of them helping in the woodshop and doing their own work alongside the students at all grade levels. Our teachers get excited about our projects. Many times, they come to me with ideas, wondering, "can we do this?" My assistant and I figure out ways, plan the materials, sometimes scratch our heads awhile and then do our best to deliver. Sometimes things don't work out just as we planned. It is good (actually great) for students to know that things don't always work as intended. We are honest about our mistakes.

When I was in Sweden last May, one of the Sloyd teachers at the conference expressed concern that a woodworking program that bends over backwards to serve the rest of the curriculum would be considered less important in the school. If you take a walk through the Clear Spring School campus, I am very pleased to say that evidence of student woodworking is present in every classroom, in the library and in every office. Every child has a collection of his or her own woodworks, each piece offering remembrance of lessons learned and enjoyed. The rather fuzzy photo above is of Jessica Fitzpatrick. She teaches Spanish and Math at Clear Spring and as you can see learned to plane wood last week-by hand. She also just received her Masters degree in Education from Goddard College. Two very nice things to have happen in just one week! Congratulations Jessica!

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