Day 144 (of 185) I’m not supposed to use tools, so how do we build a birdhouse?

Day 144 (of 185) I’m not supposed to use tools, so how do we build a birdhouse?

Our school district careers VP has been doing a great job getting younger and younger students involved in hands-on learning. This has included setting up some maker-space kits that can be signed out of our school district resource centre; and tool kits and hammers and safety goggles! This has augmented some of the robots and coding work he has done. And the field trips for classes/students to events, post-secondary institutes etc. 

But….sigh….one of the ‘ideas’ is a bit beyond me. I’ll admit that for a long time I have been banned from using tools by my mom (and more recently my wife). It’s not that I’m risk adverse (though an electrician friend just shook his head when I explained how I did some diy lighting work). It’s more along the lines that others can use tools better – as my son has shown when he easily assembled IKEA crafts only glancing at the instructions. 

And one of the ‘ideas’ for our district was for some of our intermediate classes to build birdhouses. Kits are precursor so they just need to be assembled. 

Sidebar: here is where I put hetrarichal leadership into practice – I don’t have to be the leader in all things, I need to know how and when to let others be the leaders!


One of my young teaches on staff had been on a carpentry path until he decided to make a difference in young people’s lives (thank you!!) and accept a half-week job share at our school. Well, I will gladly do reading and playing and gym with 1/2 student and let him ‘play’ with the construction area that is our library. He’s the guy who knows which glue we needed. And which sandpaper will work best. And it allowed him to work with two other teachers on staff in the room together – which can be some fabulous professional development and informal mentoring!

And we knew the kids would love it (probably even like it had I done it as a library station paired with a book….. but it’s not my library…..it’s our learning commons – and I love it when people invade ‘my’ space and make it ‘ours’. So I let the kids laugh when I explained that my mom doesn’t like it when I use tools…..and instead let them build memories with a teacher that they may have seen in the halls, but might not have had an opportunity to learn with him.  And his leadership definitely led to some great starts on the birdhouses….and some requests for some more time to work with the kids…..

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About technolandy

Principal of Sorrento Elementary Educator pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Piloting ePortfolios
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