THERE’S NOTHING MORE FRUSTRATING than walking into a workshop that isn’t clean…
It’s a downhill slope. The workshop is dirty so students think they don’t have to clean, and all of a sudden equipment is getting misplaced, broken or simply doesn’t work properly anymore.
And the worst bit is the time it takes. Every. Single. Day.
There’s no doubt that having a messy workshop costs you time, and makes being a woodwork teacher less pleasant.
So how do you keep your workshop clean when students are coming in and out all day? Here are some tips and techniques.
Allocated Work Benches
Students are more likely to clean when they are individually named and have some ownership over the mess. They might complain someone else actually did it, or so-and-so should be helping clean, but they are more likely.
Allocating work benches, and having them written down somewhere to prevent forgetting will help here.
This is an example that gets printed out and names written on it.
If you have a sink in your workshop it’s generally messy after a class involving painting, or even gluing.
Here’s a few pointers.
- Make it clear as to what students are to do (i.e. paintbrushes was until the water coming off them is clean – then put brush up in prepared container)
- Prepare the ‘production line’ for the different utensils (i.e. brush, drop sheet, paint container, palette , sink, finished work, etc.) including:
- A place to put them when finished
- In what condition they should be put away
- How to clean them
I like to keep a brush hanging next to static machines that tend to get dirty. The pedestal drill is one machine that can get dirty quite quickly. Also having easily identified places for clamps and utensils that get used with the machine will help keep it clean.
Communicating with Other Teachers
If you have other teachers working in the workshop cleanliness can be a point of friction. The easiest way is to have some clear guidelines, and to make it as easy as possible for your fellow educators.
Sometimes dropping by before they have finished a class is a good way to address the problem. That way the students can clean the mess.
I hope some of these ideas can help you keep workshop clean, while saving you a whole lot of time and effort. Even if they take a little time to implement, they are worth it 20 times over.
As always if you have any ideas yourself that you use, let me know here.