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Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills

 
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
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Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Hey guys and gals
I wanted to vent about the ongoing tradition of cutting "shop" classes in schools.
We are ALL responsible for this because we allow it to happen.

Let me explain:
I am a veteran shop teacher and have been witnessing the slashing of schools budgets which gives them the excuse of cutting shop.

They refuse to cut band or art

Count on your hands, how many professional musicians do you know??

Now, How many professional artists do you know??

OK............. Here we go:
How many Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, other contractors do you know?? Even engineers, yes

It makes me sick that our kids have to have 2 years of Algebra and 2 years of foreign language, when half of these kids will never use it, and they ALL need to know how to work with their hands and MEASURE for crying out loud.

We are all responsible because we let it happen. The good side is the fact that it allows those of us who are good at this stuff to charge more because no one else can do it.

The bad side is there are many people unable to make a living because they were never taught or encouraged to go into the TRADES!!!!!!!

Talk to your local school boards, GET SHOP BACK IN SCHOOLS.

And I'm not talking about Tech ed either!!!!!
Thanks for letting me vent

Signed,
Frustrated shop teacher, father, citizen of these great United States
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Thank you for saying how many feel. There is a cultural shift towards respecting the trades, but it's not happening fast enough.

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Old 07-11-2014, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Hey ! Don't you know,everyone is supposed to go to college and become a computer guru and make millions of dollars !
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


I AGREE! My school district, that I went to, my wife, and both of my grown (24&21) year old boys went to, ya, got me going here!!! They don't give a rats a## about anything BUT football/baseball/computers/etc.. They are known for parents to MOVE into the area, JUST so they can and say, that their kids went to NA!

My older son, had some issues in learning way back, and we had to take LEGAL issues, out of our pocket, to try to pay for and get him help as needed!

The district did not want to fund the learning support that he needed! BUT the "SAINTED" ones get the limo rides to their event!! The other issue with our district is INCOME! We are approx. 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA. The incomes here range for as a family of ? between $25k to $2 million/per year! Dah, do ya see the way things are going!!

Sorry to stay here, but I do think in the same ball-park!

Thanks, dave
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Yes, Dave Its' sad.
Proves you can be sad and mad at the same time hehe
I would even argue that Doctors and dentists need eye-hand coordination.

Talk to your local school boards )))
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
Originally Posted by sylobeg View Post
Yes, Dave Its' sad.
Proves you can be sad and mad at the same time hehe
I would even argue that Doctors and dentists need eye-hand coordination.

Talk to your local school boards )))
I agree! BUT the most, and MOST important thing in today's world, that is lacking? COMMON SENSE!!!! It just is not there any more!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
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I agree! BUT the most, and MOST important thing in today's world, that is lacking? COMMON SENSE!!!! It just is not there any more!!!
You got that right!!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Oh, we still have voc school in my home town of Clarkston. Nowadays, it's mostly referred to as "The holding pen", but they also have formal names like Oakland Technical Center, Renaissance School, etc. But in any case, it's a way to keep the head count up (keep those dollars rolling in please) but also hold them away from the "General population" of regular high school.

OTOH, I'm old enough that when I talk to guys from my age group, we still have fond memories of the voc teachers and what we learned there.

When we get done experimenting with every possible non-working educational system, then and only then will we get back to the notion of vocational education as "worthy.

BTW, ABC and CAM have very strong trades education programs. They are definitely filling some of the void.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:42 PM   #9
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


When I was in Jr. High, we had a choice between Home Economics and Shop for our first 8th grade elective. Obviously the girls all took Home Ec and the boys "mostly" took shop.

I never in a million years would have considered going into the trades if it had not been for this class. (My entire family were Professors and Educators and the white collar thing only and people in the trades were considered of a lower "caste")

I have to admit I was terrified of the band saw and I still am.

Closing down this glimpse of an area where kids can prosper is a mistake.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
Originally Posted by rselectric1 View Post

I have to admit I was terrified of the band saw and I still am.

.



For me it was and still is is the radial arm saw.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:42 PM   #11
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Mike Rowe hears you loud and clear.

So do most of the rest of us.

As usual, the people we elect (or don't bother to) don't hear anything.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:58 PM   #12
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


I'd say that mathematics/algebra are still very valuable in the trades, foreign language...looks like it will be...ahhg I don't want to go there.

Math and science are needed in the trades, a good command of the English language is paramount as well.

A well rounded education is better than an education system that guides toward conformity.

The stuff they "don't" teach now is appalling.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:21 PM   #13
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
Originally Posted by tgeb View Post
I'd say that mathematics/algebra are still very valuable in the trades, foreign language...looks like it will be...ahhg I don't want to go there.

Math and science are needed in the trades, a good command of the English language is paramount as well.
:
Math is needed, of course. Not 4 years of it, including Algebra 2. English is needed? Speak decently, but shakespear instead of Woods or Welding? Sorry, have to disagree.

We are NOT behind other countries. They don't test every student, only the "selected" ones. We are required to test ALL kids, even the special ed kids.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:25 PM   #14
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
We are NOT behind other countries. They don't test every student, only the "selected" ones. We are required to test ALL kids, even the special ed kids.
I'm gonna have to see proof of that claim.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:18 AM   #15
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
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Mike Rowe hears you loud and clear.

So do most of the rest of us.

As usual, the people we elect (or don't bother to) don't hear anything.
Isn't that the *&#^ truth?

Our schools are a house on fire. They're just burning down before our eyes and IMHO, discipline is a huge issue.

In 1974, I was the first girl to take auto shop in Portsmouth schools, and it was a big deal. If I was queen of the world, I would make EVERY STUDENT IN AMERICA take some kind of shop class.

Discipline was the very first lesson and we were told if we were caught playing around with the machines it was instant suspension.

BTW, I got straight A's in that class!

LOVED IT.

I'm sorry (but not surprised) to hear that public schools don't see the value of shop classes.

Our public schools are - with precious few exceptions - run by pencil pushing idiots, and the teachers are "teaching to the tests" instead of preparing children for life.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:22 AM   #16
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Quote:
Originally Posted by sylobeg View Post
They refuse to cut band or art
This is primarily because there are parents out there who are advocating the same thing you are when it comes to the trades. The school systems wanted to cut out the arts.. which they have done in some areas but they are just as important as anything else. Those who have appreciation for the arts made their thoughts well known.

I think that the toughest task for any state board of education is to determine what chidren should be learning today so that they can be prepared for the world in 15 years as they enter the work force.

I think that we (they) dropped the ball when the industrial age started to taper off and we took for granted that any schmuck with a hammer and a hand full of nails could assemble two pieces of wood together. Nowadays that's not so simple for most people.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:22 AM   #17
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When I was in Jr. High, we had a choice between Home Economics and Shop for our first 8th grade elective. Obviously the girls all took Home Ec and the boys "mostly" took shop.
*Ahem*!

I feel strongly that EVERYONE should take shop - male and female alike. In my case, "auto shop" taught me about mechanical principles, and I learned how things work and how things are made, and that life lesson was invaluable.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:34 AM   #18
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


Also, I consider that we raised a generation of people who believed that the Internet would replace every business, solve every problem, and supply anything that you ever needed.

Many years ago a guy from the Millennial generation was boasting about how he was going to pursue a career on the Internet because that's the only kind of business that will exist in the 21st century.

So I asked him, "What about the shipping companies that bring you the stuff that you order online? How do you think that gets to your door?" Blank stare. Then I said, "They surely can't bring something to your door while sitting behind a computer. Also, what about the vehicles that transport your shipments? The trucks, and vans that require manufacturing, maintenance, repairs, etc. They can't make that possible by just sitting behind a computer screen. " Blank stare again. Then he said, "Well I just know that the internet is going to take over everything. You'll see."

And this my friends is the mentality that allows the trades to be eliminated from our schools.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:06 AM   #19
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Re: Kids In Schools Not Learning Shop Skills


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Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
This is primarily because there are parents out there who are advocating the same thing you are when it comes to the trades. The school systems wanted to cut out the arts.. which they have done in some areas but they are just as important as anything else. Those who have appreciation for the arts made their thoughts well known.

I think that the toughest task for any state board of education is to determine what chidren should be learning today so that they can be prepared for the world in 15 years as they enter the work force.

I think that we (they) dropped the ball when the industrial age started to taper off and we took for granted that any schmuck with a hammer and a hand full of nails could assemble two pieces of wood together. Nowadays that's not so simple for most people.

Ted--- thanks for pointing that out.

while as a tradesman I sympathies with the OP's general feeling--- I think he is off base about a number of things.

Goroing up--- I knew several professional musicians--- and even more professional artists. It depends on what circles you move in.

sure--- in the trades we all know lots of carpenters, plumbers etc.---- it's our business.
but the average person--- THEY don't know a lot of plumbers electricians etc.

one of the most successful graduates from my HS class (1980)--- got to his position through the arts---- employs about 30 people now in his marketing firm----primarily through the arts--- I could go on and on

I am all for the trades---- but I don't see cutting out band and art and better English classes and higher level math----in favor of shop classes----as producing competently educated kids for the 21st century.

Maybe I am crazy---- but the absolutely BEST ( about 6 superb ones---- 2 with me currently) employees I have had over the years have come from a strong liberal arts back ground---- they are able to meet, converse with and communicate with affluent customers, explain what we are doing and up-sell as the occasion warrants . Almost all of their trade skills have come from on the job----and in fact an arts background has been helpful with that.

We expect to be hiring a new apprentice in the spring of 2015----and we won't be looking for that person in the ranks of shop class graduates---- sad to say. That path has lead no-where for us over the years.

I can teach them a trade---- what I don't have time to teach them--- is that well rounded background they actually need-----and I don't have the energy to over come the faulty upbringing I have found in the few " shop class kids" we have tried in the past.

your experience may be different.

Stephen
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:38 AM   #20
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. They can't make that possible by just sitting behind a computer screen. "
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