Friday, May 17, 2013

the competent teacher

      I am reminded of a remark made to me recently by a gentleman in middle life, a very excellent carpenter, whom I saw watching my boys, twenty-four of them, at work making their first weld in the forging shop. He seemed intensely interested as he watched one of the young men at work. I said: "You seem to like to see the boys work. Do you understand what they are doing?" "Yes, " said he, "I worked a year once in a blacksmith shop." "Well," said I, "then I suppose this operation of welding is a very simple matter to you." "Not at all," said he; "I never made a weld in my life. I never got a chance. I kindled the fire and blew the bellows, and I did some striking for other men; but they never let me try to make a weld." Then he added, with a good deal of feeling, "These boys learn more in one week about the really essential art of forging than I learned in half a year." And the secret of it is they have a thoroughly skilled workman who is competent both to teach and to demonstrate every principle involved.--Calvin M. Woodward