Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Thoughts on Teaching: Year 4.

Halfway through my 4th year and absolutely loving it. It's always crazy busy- between coaching a Lego robotics team, getting projects organized, maintaining tools in the shop, making sure all of the supplies stocks are adequate, and trying to jump through all of the insane hoops provided by the government and now getting ready to teach an evening community class... It's tiring. That said, again, I'm loving it.

 I feel like I'm finally getting down how to balance classroom management but still maintain a fun environment where kids can work, do their own thing, and have something to show for it. Long ways to go still, but progressing in the right direction.

One of my favorite aspects of teaching so far is all of the things I've taught myself. I started teaching these classes with a fairly basic understanding of several different subjects and almost NONE in some of them. Now I feel very confident in the all of them- I can get pretty fancy in Sketchup, I understand how the Lego robots work and can troubleshoot and program them fairly quickly, sheet metal working is a breeze, my welding has increased leaps and bounds, and I've learned even more about small engines in the process of figuring out how students can screw them up.

 What does that give me? A desire to build. To go further. To continue. I remember Nintendo had a commercial when I was growing up- it showed this cube of letters at the end really quick and I could never figure out what the heck it said... I finally did and I like it.

Seems like I'm at the next level, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. Lots of fun things coming up- talked management into letting me add a 3D printer this year, and its on its way. Can't wait to build that and get it working! Currently teaching a new 8th grade class- where we actually get to weld a LOT and we're building some pretty cool working model air engines. Looking at expanding in the CAD area to a more professional program- Rhino or Solidworks- neither of which I have a clue how to work but would love to figure it out.

There are long days, there are the students that like to do things just to tick you off, but at the end of the day I usually still want to come back the next. If I don't, sticking around for a while tinkering on some new project to show my students usually changes that. There's always some lame politician, some other distraction you have to deal with, always seemingly pointless hoops to jump through. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and gitr done. That reminds me... There's a few things I have to get done.

Sorry to be all rambley, wasn't intending to write a discourse. Anyways, that's the state of affairs in the dorkpunch garage. Keep your stick on the ice.

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