Weaving the classroom: Woodshop and P.E.

The passage seems to be geared more towards inspiring teachers, but to me, as a student, the passage is interpreted as being part of a creation. Each student is a section of the fabric that will eventually be so well-knitted that the final product is a masterpiece. As a student, it makes me believe that each person in my class is part of this product and I need to do my part to make sure each person knows their value and their importance.

I have had a few teachers that show this type of mindset. I don’t believe that it was an intentional mindset, but they have it nonetheless. They weave community within their class that is based on common rules that each person in the class deems important. I was in a P.E. class where there was the normal competition between individuals or teams, but each person was encouraged by everyone on their team or by everyone spectating. There were some people that were naturally competitive and wanted to win, but for the most part everyone was excepting. The teacher didn’t keep score. Even if it was obvious which team was winning, there would be no official score to verify.

My high school years were similar. Most people switched which electives they selected, but I took woodshop, metals, and physical training every year. For woodshop and metals, there was a beginners class, then the second semester was intermediate. After a year of woods, students that wish to make their independent projects would continue in Advanced woods I, then Advanced woods II, etc. I did wood shop every semester through high school, even though one of those semesters I changed to do basic construction. Anyway, When I got up to a high enough level I was a teachers assistant, off the books, so I would get a full credit compared to half of a credit (which TA’s normally got). The woodshop was a relatively safe place. There were some accidents, but everyone in each of my classes were willing to help those that needed help. It felt like a family or a tight-knit group of individuals that worked together to build their own pieces of furniture. If every person in the class worked together, by the end of the semester there would be furniture to fill a two bedroom house. It would contain a dining table, a coffee table, four chairs for the dining table, a few lamp stands, a book shelf or two, a TV stand or two, and even a desk. We worked together to make each piece of furniture into a masterpiece.

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