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Looking to become a woodworking teacher Options
freznel
Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011 12:28:28 PM
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Joined: 2/27/2011
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Location: PA
Hi all,

I stumbled upon this site as I was looking into becoming a wood shop teacher. I am looking for the how to and the means to start my career in teaching. Any advise or openings that you can pass on is greatly appreciated. Shoot me an email at mlepelstat [at] gmail [dot] com. thanks!

Mike Lepelstat
creighta
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 7:22:38 AM
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Joined: 1/16/2008
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Location: Georgetown/OH
Not sure about PA, but here in OH I wouldn't suggest it. THe future is looking pretty bleak for those of us in the field.

Still the best job in the world while you have it.
MrsN
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2011 12:16:19 PM
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Joined: 4/2/2008
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Location: Wisconsin
With jobs like they are, I would reccomend getting a Technology Education degree. It will let you teach a variety of classes (woodshop being one of them). If you are very specific in wanting only woodshop, you are likely out of luck.

Below is a link to the ITEEA site. it is the International Technology and Engineering Education Association. This site lists schools with tech ed degree programs.
http://www.iteea.org/Resources/institutionalmembers.htm
dsnellen
Posted: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 11:35:42 AM
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Joined: 10/25/2010
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Location: Belleview, MO
For Missouri teaching jobs, www.successlink.org/ is the site. You can register for free and review the jobs available for the state or in a specific region. Every year a number of shop jobs pop up. Its a matter of your willingness to relocate.
Good luck - Dave
WoodTeacher
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:56:42 PM
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Joined: 2/27/2006
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With the current state of affairs in education, I wouldn't recommend teaching to anyone. If the adminstrators would step back and let the teachers teach and start holding the parents and students accountable for NOT studying and learning, then I would have a different opinion.

All you have to do is read comments by parents and ADMINISTRATORS and its plain to see that teachers are regarded as 2nd class citizens.

You may or may not agree with me, but after 34 years in education I have seen the change and its not for the good.
Paul Steiner
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:55:00 PM
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Joined: 1/4/2011
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Location: Woodbridge VA
I disagree with WoodTeacher and I think he was having a bad day when he wrote that.

First I would say get a technology education degree or masters degree if you have a 4 year degree already. A tech. ed. cert. will guarantee you a job in many places. Next would need to choose where (county and school) you teach wisely (you will be able to choose if you get a tech. ed. degree). You have to look at what the county/school has currently and find out what their 5 year plan is. There are programs changing and shutting down but many programs are thriving. I teach in the second largest county in VA and my county pays the most in VA. Closing my shop down would put a drop in their bucket budget wise. Also there are 70,000 students in my county and that helps my fill 5 classes of 25 each year. Look at their education policy, where is the accountability? I student taught in a school system that gave students all year (200 days) to do make up work. My current county gives them 2 days.

Secondly as a teacher it can not be about you it has to be about your students. You might be tired, burned out, unhappy, or have problems at home but that time in the classroom is about student learning. If you are really worried about how you think other people think or "treat" you, you are not right for the job.

Third you need to teach class for 2011. So more problem solving, integrate technology and integrate the SOLs.

Fourth you have to be political woodworker. Make nice with admin and parents. Give them undeniable proof your program benefits students, the school, the community. Have students build picnic benches for the school, furniture for the library, build a community service project, toys for tots, back drops for the school play, etc. etc. And when you do this stuff call the local paper or news station and say "I think I have a good story for you". Principals do not cut programs that are popular or make good news for the county.

Fifth get an advanced degree and a national board cert. if you do not have one. Get a masters in tech. ed. and/or stem and/or educational admin. I got a $2500 raise for my first masters, $3000 for my second. I am currently working on a national board cert. I will get a $5000 bonus and a $2500 raise when I complete that. In this age of AYP and SOLs principals love advanced degrees and highly qualified personnel. Most principals will bend over backwards to keep someone that is HQP. If your county does not show the love for advanced degrees you are teaching in the wrong place.

Lastly you need to be flexible change with the times. People are down on trades/manual skill now and up on college. But when gas is $5 and plumbers or HVAC guys bill $300 an hour the trades and practical skill classes will come back.
Lifelongwoodwrkr
Posted: Monday, April 04, 2011 1:39:26 PM
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Joined: 4/4/2011
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Location: El Cajon CA
I agree, teaching is not a good choice right now. I went to school to be a wood shop teacher and have all the credentials. 15 applications at the beginning of this school year, 8 interviews and no job. A select few have what Paul and some others have because they got a teaching job at the right time. NCLB has screwed vocational education and most secondary schools put college requirements before elective classes that won't get you into college. If woodworking was a fine arts requirement then it would be right in the pathway. Here in CA all high schools are geared to meet the A-G requirements and shop classes are not on that list. The UC system is responsible for this downfall. Industrial Arts degrees went away in the mid 80's and there is no return to it in sight. If you want to teach anything related to this go green, learn the green technology and teach that. I once looked up Industrial Arts and it was said to be a 20th century term, another words outdated. The school system is constantly being changed by politicians and their wives that forget about students not going to college. Most of our manufacturing has been sent over seas and skilled labor is not what it once was in this country. I may sound like a downer but these are the hard facts. Don't get me wrong I would love to teach woodworking, but circumstances being what they are prohibit this from happening. Good Luck.
WoodTeacher
Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:12:07 AM
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Paul

No, I was not having a bad day. Just telling it like it is.

Teachers in general have been relegated to 2nd class status. We apparently are guilty of wanting to make a fair wage for the education we possess and are currently under attack by many groups trying make sure we become impoverished.

As far as shop teachers, we are even lower yet until someone needs a bookcase, car fixed, welding done etc. We are expected to do this service during class time since it is obvious we don't teach. I would like you to interrupt the chemistry teacher during his class time.

No I was not having a bad day. EDUCATION is having a bad decade if not longer due to people who have never taught telling you how to teach.

ericstorm
Posted: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:28:10 PM
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Joined: 11/11/2008
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Location: portland, or
I have to agree with Paul here, and definitly not agree with WoodTeacher.

Modern day CTE teachers need to be at the top of their game in order to be taken seriously. Get the right certifications, the right degrees, and play the political game. Be a teacher the same way a person would run a successful business: If you are not perceived as being the best, you are nothing.

Teach the newest technologies, even if that means being extremely creative with what physical items you actually have at your disposal. Go to the board meetings and show them that you are trying to get kids to become far more technologically advanced than their parents ever had an opportunity to be. Free software can go a long ways toward impressing people.

Teachers who complain than no one is learning how to use a bandsaw are missing the point: The more highly advanced technology we can get students exposed to, the better prepared we, as a nation, will be. If we expose students to all the newest stuff, there will be plenty of students left over to operate those bandsaws.

Those of us worried about failing Industrial Arts programs need to retire.
Lifelongwoodwrkr
Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:23:32 PM
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Joined: 4/4/2011
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Location: El Cajon CA
You guys are missing the point. Most of the students you get aren't going to college maybe a few. Getting them ready for jobs is the most important issue. CTE is a waste of time. I have been involved with it and it has not helped with anything. The biggest reason kids don't sign up for your classes is because IT DOES NOT GET THEM READY FOR COLLEGE. This is the big push, how many kids are going to college from your school? How many kids graduate college from your school? After you retire Eric they will shut down your shop. That is reality. When the budget gets crunched these classes go first. Performing Arts will be around longer than "Industrial Arts." If you look at the automotive area, most administrators are looking for ASE certified. Industrial Arts no longer counts. You guys are just trying to survive in a hostile environment where everyone is fighting for a few dollars. The district here takes any money that the shop teachers don't use. Locally a fund raiser raises over $70,000 for shop needs in the district. The district has taken this money and teachers didn't get to use it. Now they will order what they need from the fund raising organizer to keep the money away from the district. Tell me what is your budget the school provides is it more than five thousand dollars a year? Good Luck and teach well.
Paul Steiner
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:35:40 PM
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Location: Woodbridge VA
Okay it sounds like the problem here is that we have woodshop guys and CTE guys. I am in the middle, I absolutely love woodwork but I teach CTE courses. In all things there are checks and balances for me it is teaching a CTE course, but getting to integrate woodwork into it. I teach CTE in a woodshop no computers no modules. I have been out of college about 9 years and back then my professors said woodwork as a class is dead. Classes are either CTE or trade based. And many woodshop teachers happily made this change in the 80s and 90s. If you want to teach just woodwork you may have to go to a community college or even teach classes at woodcraft.
If you want to be a teacher and have a job you have to submit to checks and balances. That may be teaching CTE courses and my balance is that I work in a woodshop with really nice machines at my disposal. Whether you teach CTE or Woodshop you have to bring it. Show everyone why what you are doing is valuable, find a way to get the word out about the importance of what you do. If you are going to complain and moan about lack of funds and have a don't tread on me attitude you will get cut.

Next the entire education system is missing the point on prepping kids for work or college. I would gladly prepare a kid for work if guidance would send me a kid that wants to be prepped for work. Also if you could find me a 14-17 year old that knows exactly what they want to be when they grow up, I have a bridge you can buy.

CTE gives students a window into careers and career paths. Yes my students are not going to college right after high school. But I can open their eyes to some really good options for futhering their education or finding career instead of a "job". If I get a kid to say I may want to be a plumber and I know how to pursue that career path mission accomplished.
Also I will say many classes CTE prep kids for college and careers. Look into Project Lead the Way, it is cutting edge curriculum addressing a major need for the USA, lack of engineers. Politicians and Admin love this stuff.

Finally I do not know if I am proud or ashamed to say: As far as my career I do not know what a second class citizen feels like. Some people teacher Math, some people teach english, some people drive buses, some people sell real estate, etc. I teach CTE and trades courses and if someone thinks they are better than me it has never bothered me. I know that eventually they will need my help and my expertise, that is my opportunity to open their eyes. Its kinda like a plumber, people don't realize plumbers in this area make as much as lawyers. But plumbers don't complain about not being treated like lawyers.
My mother told me at a very young age QTIP, Quit Taking It Personally. If you are being crapped on by the admin and everyone else, leave. I bet in a year's time they will realize what they lost. There are many schools that are looking for highly qualified teachers.

And one more thing because education is having a bad decade my school is adding a CTE position. If you are highly qualified and looking for a job send me a message.
ericstorm
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:47:17 PM
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Location: portland, or
I agree with everything you wrote, Paul.

One point I want to stress: Be flexible and work all the things that you feel are important into a curriculum that impresses administrators and board members. There are unlimited opportunities for teachers who teach classes in which a tangible product is produced to impress people, and none of these opportunities should be misses. Likewise, there are unlimited opportunities to integrate core subject material into shop classes, and none of these opportunities should be missed.

Exposing students to everything possible is the best way to prepare them for the remarkably uncertain future they face.

We have the opportunity, more so than any other teachers out there, to help students understand the relationship between all the different things they are taught. We should take that responsibility seriously.

I can't even comprehend how we could feel like second class citizens if we are doing what we should be doing, and doing it well.
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