How COVID-19 has affected Fossil’s shop classes


Jordan Brownhill

A table saw is an example of equipment that you can find in the woodshop.

Jordan Brownhill, Staff Writer

Most everything in life has seemingly been affected in some way by the COVID-19 virus. But many people have chosen to persevere and work around the restrictions, and that includes the Fossil Ridge High School woodshop classes.

During Fossil’s first quarter, shop teachers had to work to figure out a way to continue their classes from home. They were forced to focus on the information that the students were required to learn, rather than allowing them to practice putting that information to use.

“What we did was we took a lot of the information that they might learn in a second level class, and we taught it in the first level class,” explains Kyle Taylor, a woodshop teacher at Fossil.

While hybrid learning worked well for the classes, they have found new ways to teach students after the announcement was made that Fossil would return to virtual learning.

Shop classes have been allowing students to come into the school in order to utilize the equipment in the wood and metal shops. The groups are small and socially distanced, but the fact that they are able to have students working in the building at all is a great thing, according to Taylor.

Even with some hands on practice happening for the class, the curriculum that is usually included has taken a blow during the pandemic.

“Some projects, just in the current environment, we just can’t do them,” Taylor described in an effort to give a better understanding of how the shop curriculum has been affected.

While the department would love to keep their old curriculum, they are grateful to be able to have students in the building at all.

“The best thing for our department has been the small group in person,” claims Taylor. “Without the opportunity for that in person stuff, our class loses a lot of the appeal that they have.”

While the classes lose appeal without the opportunity to be in person, Taylor explains that the hope of shop teachers is that students are willing to take the risk of at least one class.

“We are always encouraging students to take a chance, take one class,” Taylor says.

And even though they have lost a lot of the opportunities they have had in the past, Taylor explains, they still offer a lot to their students.

“Even though these classes don’t look the way they normally look, there’s still a ton of value.”

Classes that rely on hands-on learning have dealt with a significant amount of changes to their curriculum. Wood shop classes are no exception. However, despite the challenges that the shop department have faced throughout the pandemic, they have put in the work to continue teaching Fossil’s students. While, like everyone else, they wish things could be back to normal, they are glad that they have had the luck they have had thus far.