Thursday, November 06, 2008


. Thursday, November 06, 2008

I have always enjoyed teaching. I have done some more "formal" teaching like conducting some lunch-and-learns at work. I've done lessons on propane systems, smoke control systems, and fire dampers. They required hours of research, Power Point presentations, and a lot of preperation. I used to get really nervous speaking in front of a group of people, but that has diminished over time.

The type of teaching I enjoy most is when it's one-on-one. I've done quite a bit of this at work in an informal capacity. New employees, fresh and green out of college, typically don't know any HVAC design. I didn't either. We know AutoCAD and basically learn everything else via "on the job training". Some places just throw you in the water and you better learn how to swim quickly. I've been fortunate to have had some great mentors and teachers throughout my career. Now, I'm in a position to return the favor. I especially like bringing a new engineer out into the field and show him around a job that's under construction. I point out the different design features; why we do this and that; point out where the evil contractor is trying to cut corners; and even pointing out mistakes that I made during the design and showing what the results of that mistake are in the field.

My love for teaching has grown some more. This time it's helping my son do his homework. Boo Jr had "homework" in Kindergarten, but it never really required much thought on his part. It was coloring or some similar artsy-craftsy type task. But now that he's in First Grade, now they're really getting down to business. Some recent homework that I really enjoyed doing with him was Geography. We learned about North, South, East, and West. We also learned about globes, maps, and legends. Last night, we learned how to read a map with a grid on it. "What do you see in square B6?" Teaching and doing homework with Boo Jr can certainly be frustrating at times. It's hard to overcome "I don't know" when you know that he just doesn't want to do his homework and would rather watch tv or play. Sometimes it's hard to stay positive and encouraging too if I've had a long day at work. But the reward is when you see the lightbulb turn on over Boo Jr's head and you see that he "gets it". That's the greatest feeling in the world. And being a parent has been the greatest job in the world too.


Cinnabitch said...

It IS amazing how much more kids seem to be learning at an earlier age than when we were in school! I did a 2nd grade classroom observation last spring for one of my education classes. The kids were writing essays, and were doing math that scared me. By the way, thanks for emailing me the snopes site; I deleted that blog entry.