Sunday, January 13, 2013

Progress Reports

Do you remember getting "progress reports" in school?  In Kindergarten they were a series of smiley or sad faces depending on how you had behaved during that grading period. Then in elementary school you might have received an E, S, N or U (Excellent, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, Unsatisfactory), depending on how your teacher liked your handwriting. Once you reached middle school you got As, Bs, and a few Cs... and so it went until you finally finished your formal education and got a little piece of paper stating that you had completed all of the necessary requirements.

In my teacher training classes in college, I learned a lot of reasons why those letter grades aren't really a good reflection of what a student does or doesn't know. So while reading this progress report for the two Knott students, in lieu of the aforementioned statement, please focus your attention less on the graded section of this report and more on the "comments" section at the bottom of each category. Thank you.


The following code will be used in this report:
E = Excellent, S = Satisfactory, N = Needs Improvement, U = Unsatisfactory, I = Incomplete.

Category 1 - Mooney M20s
Selling Airplanes:  N
Polishing Airplanes:  E
Washing bird gifts off airplanes:  E
Attitude while washing airplanes:  N

DJ and Jodi were given several large projects to work on in the subject Airplanes. While they could use a little more practice selling airplanes, they worked with their tutor, John Record, who put in many hours of volunteer help and a lot of effort to get them through this project. With John's help, these two have finally said goodbye to two Mooney M20s. I want to note that the attitudes of these two students while washing airplanes became very poor by the fifth or sixth repetition.

You might wonder why I gave these two this airplane selling project. Well, they want more airplanes and so they needed to clean out their hangar first. I hope the homework involved with these projects was not too much to ask of them.

Category 2 - Scooters
Selling Scooters:  S
Speed of Sale:  S
Showing of Scooters to potential buyers:  S

This was a tough project, requiring lots of patience, new batteries, several days of TLC, and finally hours of phone communication with "potential buyers." I'm glad to say that all's well that end's well.

Category 3 - Cessna 182 Launching
Annual inspection:  E
Annual inspection repairs:  78% complete
Wash, polish and wax:  75% complete
182 modifications:  I

I told them that the more they did now, the less they would have to do later in the hot sun. And they can get scissors and tape, I mean hoses and gaskets more easily here than down there. Some of the work they've done during this report period is as follows: rigging the ailerons, flaps and elevator, organizing the wiring chaos under the panel, removing various forms of insulations, replacing lots of rubber hoses and seals in the fuel system, replacing air vent hoses that were causing corrosion, changing out light bulbs, replacing rusty screws, installing a new baffle seal, changing seat rollers, adding wire chafe protection, and riveting in a new seat rail.

The Incomplete in the modification subcategory requires the following modifications to be installed on the airplane prior to receiving a grade: different wheels, axles, and bigger tires (the paperwork has already been completed), fueling steps, a rock guard on the tail, and the HF radio antenna. 

Category 4 - Behavior and Attitudes
Speed of work: S
Time spent at work: E
Hours on the phone:  S
Communication with family and friends:  N
Blog posting:  N

The speed and efficiency of these two students greatly improves at work when both of them are there. Occasionally work production decreases, probably due to the average temperature of the workplace (40F) and the fact that DJ tends to get distracted with everybody else's projects. We should talk about this during our next conference. Blog posting more frequently is another area that we should seriously discuss.

Category 5 - Agenda before flying to Guyana
Survival Kit:  I
Life raft acquisition:  I
Customs sticker:  I
Shipment of two 55 gal.barrels:  I
Plumbing, electrical and solar supplies for Bethany:  I
Spare airplane parts acquisition:  I

These subcategories are incomplete because they are next on the agenda for these two students. They have been included for your benefit to see what is coming next in their learning.  

DATE OF SCHEDULED DEPARTURE FOR GUYANA:  Upon completion of the above requirements.

a teacher in training

P.S. Here are some pictures to go along with this progress report.
Unfreezing the Mooney with hot water!
Some icky corrosion needing to be addressed

Some messy wiring
The old fuel lines

The new fuel lines being installed

DJ about to embark on a riveting project, the assistant
having no previous riveting experience...

The new seat rail prep-ed for the rivet squishing.
Ahhh! It's all done. And no smileys :)

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