Carmen K. Sisson
As times have changed, teachers have had to change as well, learning new methods for engaging students in the classroom and fostering a passion for lifelong learning.
John Moore teaches building construction technology at Millsaps Career and Technology Center in Starkville and he has a special secret for snaring today’s Internet-savvy, gadget-loving teenagers: Get them in his class once and chances are they’ll stick around.
At the end of this school year, Moore will have logged 46 years as an educator, with 40 of those years spent at Millsaps. And though he plans to retire, he has no intention of abandoning the trade industry which spawned a passion and led to a career.
As a teenager growing up in Greenwood, Moore was skilled with both a football and a hammer. He played center and defensive lineman for his high school football team, but a summer job captured his interest and a high school class sealed his fate.
Looking to earn extra money, Moore got hired to mix mortar for several area bricklayers. Back then, those were the good jobs, he said. And though the labor was hard, it was lucrative for a man who was skilled and willing to work.
It’s a little harder to get students interested in trades these days.
“Students just don’t have that work ethic,” Moore said. “When it comes to doing physical activity, they’re a little lazy, but it’s good for them. It definitely will help them become stronger adults.”
His classroom is a testament to changes within the industry. Computers are scattered around the room and students use them to pre-visualize their designs. Alongside the technology is a plywood wall with a tangled mass of wires running to light switches and electrical outlets. Even as the building industry changes, the fundamentals remain the same.
There’s no substitute for the hands-on experience students gain in their lab work, Moore said. And through tactile immersion, students often stumble upon the same realization he discovered when he was their age: There is pleasure in building something, stepping back, looking at it and admiring one’s handiwork.
Read complete article at the Columbus Dispatch.