Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Teaching woodworking to men & women

I've had the privilege the past couple of years to teach various woodworking classes at our local Woodcraft Store. Until recently, all my classes were restricted to women only, however I opened the class on handcarved lettering to both men and women. As it turned out, only men signed up....and what a difference in their demeanor compared to the women.

Permit me to describe a women-only class. First, they're smiley. Second, they immediately strike up conversation with one another before we get started on the class. Once the class is underway, they are polite and crack jokes, mostly self-deprecating, and sometimes go off on tangents unrelated to woodworking. Other times, they are quick to share a woodworking experience of their own. One thing's for sure, there is much jocularity and hilarity. After one class, the guys working in the store commented to me that they could hear us laughing through the closed shop doors. They mistakenly thought it was due to humorous stories I was sharing rather than the women carrying on themselves. I chose not to correct them.

Now for the men. Night and day. Certainly polite, in fact, very polite, but not a peep of interaction between them. They were set on learning a new skill and focused all their attention on that one task. It was so quiet, the Woodcraft guys kept poking their heads in to make sure we weren't sleeping. It was peaceful, mindful, Zenful (is that a word?), and I came home for the first time from teaching a class not completely worn out.

My next class is Power Tools for Women. I hope I'm high-energy that day!

*Disclaimer: I write all this in kindness. It's great to teach both men and women, especially for their differences!


presbyfruit said...

Very funny, although motor-mouthiness knows no gender.

The Village Carpenter said...

I suspect I might have lucked out with the group of men who took my class!

Anonymous said...

do you have a site from where I can get carpentry teaching posts

The Village Carpenter said...

Anon, Woodcraft used to have a teachers' forum on its site but I don't know if they still have it or not. You can check woodcraft.com

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Fernando said...

We see, very few women become great carpenters, or cooks, or riders, or whatever you think, but who cares? It is so funny to pretend you try, sharing laughs and gossip and pinches!