Thursday, January 12, 2017

care and repair in the school woodshop

At Clear Spring School today, I tackled a situation that had come up when students were climbing on a picnic table and broke it. High school students have a way of testing limits and a student weighing 200 pounds jumping down from the top to the the seat was more that the picnic table could take. I gathered the materials needed to fix it, had one student rout the edges of the replacement board and the student who broke it spent the hour of wood shop with our maintenance man putting the table back together and strengthening it to be at least as good as new. Having take part in fixing it, he will surely now regard it with greater care. He may also have come to regard himself in a different manner.

Along with that, I was able to explain to the kids why taking care of things matters. Sure it is fun to fix things, but breaking things has real consequences and it may be best to exercise some judgement  and care in the first place. The great thing was that the incident brought us all closer together.

My high school students are finishing their Shaker boxes, and while not all express the same level of enthusiasm for woodworking, all seem to appreciate what they've made. One student screwed up his box today by not paying attention to the placement of the bottom in the sides as he drove tooth picks into place. I assured him that it takes less time to do make the bottom over and get it right than it took in the first place to screw up. And is that not the case with most things?

I plan to have talks with all students about the development of craftsmanship, the relationship between cause an effect through which we make the world a better place.

Make, fix, create, and extend toward others the love of learning likewise.

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