Have you considered teaching?

January 30, 2018

Each year Lexington High School graduates a number of students who plan on going into the teaching field. The subjects they choose to study range from early childhood, to math, science and history, but in the past 10 years we are not aware of anyone that has considered skilled and technical science, (shop). Our high school woods, metals, mechanics, drafting, and construction classes are full. Many of the students who take these classes go on to become teachers, and yet we have not heard of anyone in recent years that has considered the prospect of becoming a shop teacher.

Our nations economy depends on diverse talents and occupations. Highly educated professionals like doctors, lawyers and computer engineers capture much of the media’s attention. Jobs such as electricians, mechanics, carpenters, welders and builders are just as important to our society, and it’s up to industrial arts teachers to equip their students with the know-how and hands-on skills to succeed in these critical jobs.

Skilled and Technical Science instructors teach students how to use a range of practical tools from soldering irons to plasma cutters. In many modern industrial arts classrooms, the equipment includes more than just the standard saws and drills. To keep up with the times, many schools expose students to 3D printers, robots and other advanced electronics.

STS teachers instruct students in a number of vocational subjects. Their courses may focus on engine repair, heating and air-conditioning systems, welding, or wood and metalworking. They may also teach robotics, graphic design and/or computer-aided design (CAD). They frequently use demonstrations, hands-on activities, and repair or construction projects. This teaching style requires them to effectively communicate with students on how to use equipment responsibly. These courses also involve more potential hazards than academic subjects. An important part of the curriculum covers safety procedures and preventive measures during potentially dangerous activities like welding and metalworking. Teachers in these courses must closely monitor students to ensure safety and compliance with the rules at all times.

Common characteristics of a STS teacher?

People who are:

  • Good with their hands
  • Fanatical about problem solving
  • A compulsive tinkerer
  • Sociable and easy to talk to
  • Patient and resourceful
  • Capable of motivating and inspiring students
  • Organized and careful about time management
  • Devoted to service and education
  • Thoughtful about interacting with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Qualified with a degree in an education-related field

If you have taken these classes in high school and enjoyed them, consider giving teaching a try. Talk to any of our STS instructors, or our counselors to find out more.