Teaching is a milestone in every woodworker’s career. Be it helping a boy/girl scout troop assemble derby cars, helping a neighbor repair a fence using your tools, or showing your local club a technique you just learned, that marker can come fairly quickly in your career too. Passing what you know to those that don’t is the human way. What’s cool about this transition is the dirty little secret every teacher knows. Teaching best benefit is a selfish one as your own learning curve will turn sharply up with a greater understanding of the subject taught and a stronger foundation to leap and grasp more knowledge for yourself.
Now I’m of the opinion that someone does not need to be a PhD., Master, or Expert to teach. History and life experience has taught us we generally learn best from those that know just a little more than us likely because they can better relate to us. We strive to reach the next step, not the summit, and it’s the person right above us not the wizard shouting from up high that has a hand out we can reach. Kindergarteners model the 1st graders. 1st graders learn from 3rd and so forth. (Everyone knows 2nd graders are nuts.) A “teacher” just needs to know information a “student” wants to learn and have the ability to pass it along thru modeling /explanation. It’s that second part where real risk presents itself.
We’ve all known incredibly knowledgeable individuals who couldn’t translate that knowledge to others or well-meaning individuals who’ve been more a hindrance than help to growth. So it seems logical that learning some teaching skills at the start will make you more effective teacher and recognizing a teachers faults might help yourself learn from someone more skilled.
So let’s open a discussion that can be continued within your woodworking clubs, fellow parents, families, and classrooms. In no particular order here are some Top Tips for Teaching Woodworking.
Read the first tip on Classroom Safety on our blog