I teach science at a high school in Washington state. Before teaching school I worked twenty five years in woodworking and boatbuilding and repair. There is a possibility I may be asked to teach a woodworking and boatbuilding class next year, actually it would be a two year program. We have a adequate shop facility that is not being utilized fully at this time and our non college bound students do not have a lot of vocational opportunities. The position is voluntary on my part, but I am a natural experience-wise. My concerns are primarily if it can be be a serious program in the sense that the kids work hard and the expectations are high. I don’t have any interest if it is a dumping ground for the kid who is failing everything else and that is where they end up, which seems to be a pretty common experience.
I alternate between thinking it could be a really neat program and terror that I would be giving up at least some of science classes, which are really neat, to teach what at best could be only a mediocre program. I say that because before I got my science teaching credential I visited a number of woodshop programs that were downright scary.
1. Does anyone know of high school, or high school age student, programs in Western Washington that are successful and rigorous? I would like to visit some before committing.
2. Is there a vocational woodshop discussion board anywhere, I couldn’t find one so I thought I’d ask
3. And finally any thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.