Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Accident Free Sixth Grade Shop: 2 days

Today we began our third day of the quarter and my third day with 151 sixth grade shop students. The first two days we go over shop expectations, general shop safety and general machine safety. I make several comparisons between a mistake in math, spelling or history class with a mistake in shop class. I explain that parents are usually happy when a student gets 9 out of 10 spelling words right or 9 out of 10 questions right on a quiz. In fact, 9 out of 10 is considered an A- or B+. But, in the shop a parent who has a student who ends the quarter with 9 out of 10 fingers is not satisfied with the performance of the teacher or the student. Parents expect 100% safety in the shop.

Because of this, when we take the safety test next week, any student who misses one question on the fill in the blank written test will fail the test and will repeat the entire written exam. They will take the test until they can score a 100%. Then during the operation of a machine there will always be a spotter watching them cut and holding a clip board to mark any violation of twelve basic safety rules. If there is a violation by the machine operator they will stop using the machine and retake a modified form of the written test.

So far, the students have just been sitting and listening to me review the rules, tell safety stories and give simple demonstrations.

We have another safety feature on the front door as they come into the shop. It is a flip chart of the number of days the sixth grade has gone without an accident. After two days we have reached "Accident Free For 2 Days." Of course, all they have done is sit and listen to me, but I am trying to build momentum. Yesterday I almost had to take the chart back to zero because while I was talking one student did tip over in their chair and came crashing down to the floor. I had never seen this occur before during a safety lecture. I hope it is not a bad omen. Some assume the student fell asleep as I rambled on and on about safety. The student was not hurt (except for their pride) so I did not count it as an injury.

Mr. Wiemers

No comments: