Michael Fryar, Vocational Practitioner and Educator – Text


A lot of people say that they want to see vocational education in schools. But shouldn’t you elect someone to the Board of Education who actually DOES vocational work?

During this unfortunate break, the family took advantage of the time off to install a patio. And by family, I mean the entire family participated.

Here are the two youngest working with me on the patio installation. What are they learning?

making sure everything is in balance
Making sure everything is in balance
Measuring the 4x4
Measuring the 4×4
Leveling the gravel
Leveling the gravel

They are learning: math, such as fractions, decimals, length, width, height, area, volume, cost per square foot. They are learning to plan, measure, check again, check a third time, and execute the plan. And adjust the plan when something goes wrong – because a plan is just a list of all the things that can go wrong.

Most importantly they are learning that the result of hard work is something that you can stand on and proudly say you built.

Their great-grandfather’s were both labor – my father’s father was a carpenter who built the house my father grew up in. My mother’s father was a lineman for Bell Telephone. My father was a lineman for the city and strung traffic signal line while also working as an auto mechanic. I’ve always worked construction as a rough carpenter and laborer, even as an attorney, because my life feels a bit empty if I’m not building things I can touch.

A lot of politicians will say that they support labor and vocational education. But don’t you want someone who not only supports it, but actually walks the walk?