A shop teacher is someone who provides instruction in what is sometimes referred to as “industrial arts.” This includes woodworking, metalworking, and automotive repair. These teachers work at the middle and high school level, providing instruction to students who are interested in various aspects of the industrial arts. This type of work requires both shop skills and a teaching credential and the requirements to become a shop teacher can vary by nation.
In the case of a woodworking teacher, the shop teacher provides instruction to students in working with wood. This includes everything from teaching students about different kinds of wood to providing safety instruction so that students can use shop equipment like sanders, lathes, and saws. Depending on the level of the class, students may be given relatively simple projects or may progress into the finer points of woodworking.
Metal shops, also, can be found on some high school and middle school campuses. A shop teacher who teaches students metalworking skills works with students as they learn to cut, weld, acid etch, and perform other tasks with metal. Students may learn to fabricate metal components and they can also work on art projects in the metalworking shop. Since students are exposed to dangerous equipment and supplies, specialized safety training may be required for a metalworking teacher.
Another type of shop teacher is an auto shop teacher. These teaching professionals provide instruction to students who want to learn about how to build, rebuild, and repair cars. Basic mechanical training is provided to students with the assistance of cars that are donated or purchased at low cost. These teachers can also be involved in projects such as building alternative fuel vehicles with students.
No matter what kind of shop a shop teacher works in, the goal is to provide students with basic information and skills. Students may end up applying these skills to professional development, pursuing additional training after they graduate so that they can work as woodworkers, metalworkers, or mechanics. The teacher provides a grounding in safety and the myriad skills needed to work comfortably in the shop environment.
Shop is often an elective class and shop teachers work primarily with students who are specifically interested in acquiring shop skills. These teachers can also work in institutions and correctional facilities, providing vocational training to inmates. This training can be part of a rehabilitation program that is intended to offer training to people who want skills that they can apply outside the institution.