Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teacher Tuesday: You Know the Drill

I grew up as the daughter of a carpenter. My dad was a big guy with leathery skin from long hours in the sun, wide, callused hands, and muscles on top of muscles on top of massive muscles from shouldering planks and beams and plywood up and down ladders for most years of his life. He loved his work, and his perpetual smile left no doubt as to that fact.

I adored him and wanted to be around him whenever he was home. You can say that I was a daddy’s girl. I knew my way around a tool box better than I could figure out all those odd little gadgets in a sewing kit. He taught me that having home maintenance skills was important – you could save a lot of time and money handling repairs on your own. I learned that tools could be girly and fun as well as functional, and that I could fix my own clogged sink and still maintain my femininity.

These were skills I never learned in school, and knowing them has benefitted me more than all my Algebra, Chemistry and European History classes put together.

I recently asked the Shepherds College instructors what they were teaching the students. My heart went a little gooshy with memories of flatheads, levels and grease guns when Mr. Gaschke responded that he was teaching Home Maintenance and Repairs in Daily Living Skills. 

Here’s his outline for the lesson:


            Stewardship: A biblical basis for taking good care of things God has given to us

The difference between “repairs” (fixing something that’s already broken) and “preventative maintenance” (taking good care of something so that it doesn’t break)

Basic Tools

A hands-on overview of basic tools needed for basic repairs and maintenance, like measuring tapes, hammers, screwdrivers, drills, etc…

Basic Repairs and Maintenance Projects

An overview of basic home repairs and projects our students may do in the future like hanging pictures, plunging a clogged drain, assembling a bookshelf or installing shelves, oiling a squeaky door hinge, etc…

Over the next couple of weeks in Daily Living Skills, the students will be visiting a hardware store to learn how to locate various tools and supplies.

Mr. Gaschke will have the students using tools he brought from home to do some actual hammering, sawing, and drilling in a classroom “workshop.”

The students will also have the opportunity to assess their own dorm rooms for safety and maintenance or repair issues like leaky faucets and burned out lights.

What a perfect class for students who are learning to be appropriately independent!

Shepherds College - Guiding Your Transition to Appropriate Independence. Please visit us at www.shepherdscollege.edu.


  1. It looks to be a great practical class! It would have proved helpful for me to have taken a class like this if it had been offered at the College I attended years ago. And it is wonderful to read how it was also tied to scripture and stewardship. God bless! :)

  2. It’s good that they’re teaching these things now. While woodcraft might be a good thing to learn and become a hobby later on, being able to actually fix stuff around the house definitely makes a lot more sense to learn. Do you have a practical exam on how to handle them? That would be something to see.

    -- Darryl

  3. Darryl, we didn't have an official exam on this unit, but we did have practical skill assessments (e.g., the hands-on tool workshop and the dorm safety and maintenance inspection) where students were able to practice the things they learned.