The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

My Day in the 4th Grade

comments (2) January 19th, 2010 in blogs

Tom Tom McKenna, Managing Editor
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These kids rock! Mrs. Malones 4th-grade class at Highland Elementary School in Wallingford, CT. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

These kids rock! Mrs. Malone's 4th-grade class at Highland Elementary School in Wallingford, CT.

Photo: Tom McKenna

Last week I went back to school.

Friday I had the pleasure of talking to my son's 4th-grade class about my cool job as a magazine editor and web contributor. I have a dream job that allows me to engage a few of my favorite things--writing, photography, and woodworking--and I was eager to share some of my experiences.

First, I offered the kids a look into how an article comes together from start to finish, with an emphasis on creating an outline and doing a rough draft. I really wanted to make the point that good writing often is a step-by-step process, and I wanted to show them that even adults require multiple drafts and editing. I hope the tips were helful. 

I gave out issue #210 to all the students, and I was quite pleased to hear gasps of "Cool!" and "Wow!" They really liked the furniture and asked how some of the pieces were made and what I like to build. That was very cool to hear.

I also brought along my camera kit, giving a glimpse into what each lense is used for. I think the kids asked the most questions about the photography, with a close second being questions about where I've traveled to, in particular the farthest place I've gone (Sandpoint, Idaho). Finally, I played a couple videos that I'd done for They really liked that. After all, it's not often that they get to watch TV in school.

Anyway, it was a fun hour, and the kids made it go by quickly because they were engaged and interested. Maybe I'll be invited back to talk more about woodworking. I wonder if the principal would freak if I wheeled my bandsaw and bench into school...


posted in: blogs, woodworking, photography, students, wallingford, 4th grade, editing

Comments (2)

misesfan misesfan writes: Good work - it takes alot of hard work to be skillful in woodworking alone, let alone the writing process. Two creative fields in which it is difficult to excel. Keep up the good work.

Wouldnt it be wonderful if these children grew up to actually want to be woodworkers? I am starting out late in life and kicking myself for being so dumb in my youth! :)
Posted: 11:10 pm on February 7th

RalphBarker RalphBarker writes: There are few things more rewarding than exposing kids to a new area of endeavor, new skills, or new science. Not all of the "light bulbs" go on, but those that do make it worth the effort.
Posted: 6:16 pm on January 20th

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