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Giving teachers the proper tools

SAIT holds annual woodworking boot camp for CBE teachers

SAIT holds annual woodworking boot camp for CBE teachers

Teachers became the students recently as SAIT hosted a week-long woodworking boot camp for Calgary Board of Education instructors.

Junior high and high school teachers from across the city were taught some basic woodworking processes as part of the boot camp, which was done in collaboration with the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA).

Unlike other SAIT-led cabinetry and carpentry workshops, it provided teachers the chance to earn skill points and credentials through WCA's tool stamp passport program.

The main idea

"The goal of this boot camp is to promote professionalism and safety in woodshop class," says Mick McGowan, one of the instructors and woodwork experts here at SAIT.

"We provide these teachers with handouts, drawings and other resources so they've got some good groundwork to use in their own classrooms."

While CBE teachers may have the desire and aptitude to instruct shop electives, they seldom have the proper woodworking credentials. According to McGowan, the 16 teachers loved participating in the boot camp and have already benefitted from the training they received in basic hand tools, portable power tools and larger woodworking machines.

Honing their skills

McGowan, an active part of the skills movement who is particularly passionate about getting young people excited about woodwork, hopes this will help teachers incorporate the WCA standards in classrooms across Calgary. That, he says, will foster learning environments where students have the resources necessary to really develop their talents in woodwork.

Quite often, students who succeed in woodwork electives go on to pursue these passions outside of the classroom in Skills Canada Competitions or even summer jobs in shops around the city, he says.

"There's a lot of potential for student success to come out of collaborations like these between SAIT and the CBE," McGowan says. "Some of these young folks may enrol in the pre-employment program and if they like it transition into a full apprenticeship."


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