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This is Why We Teach

Posted on 16st March, 2014 by Leo Lambert

We receive many thank-yous and supportive customer feedbacks over the years, but every once and a while we receive one that cuts to the heart of why we love what we do.

One such email came across my desk the other day and I simply had to share it. It was from a long-standing customer and supporter, Joseph Fusaro of LIFT, the Long Island Forum for Technology.

LIFT’s mission is to be the premier resource for technology-driven industrial growth through a proven track record of accomplishments in the hands-on application of technology, know-how and the forging of strategic relationships. Additional information about their outstanding efforts can be found here: https://www.lift.org/

Joseph, a Project Manager and IPC Certified Instructor at LIFT, recently had a class with Becky McGaw, one of our many talented IPC Master Instructors, and wrote about his experiences and challenges in the classroom. In Joseph’s words, unedited because they were spoken from the heart, is what he had to say:

“Hi Becky,

Thanks so much for a great class last week up at EPTAC! It was enjoyable as usual! I teach lean manufacturing mostly and solder secondarily. Both being rather dry subjects I try to spice it up some as you do. In my first class with you a few years back, I think I learned more about teaching than soldering which was great for me! I was normally a nervous wreck while teaching, but observing your style helped me immensely. Thank you! I think you suggested a book to me a few years ago called ‘laugh & learn’ and it helped me tons. So thanks! Due to the book, I try different stuff all the time and once tried a rubbery ducky for the ‘timekeeper’ as both a prize and an ‘audible device’ to keep me on track. I also allow them to toss it at someone nodding off… no one ever has.

Inevitable the rubber ducky is loved by all. I pick the biggest guy (red pickup truck and tobacco) and say that he always wanted one as I squeak and toss it to him. Great ice breaker. It often gets squeaked at inopportune times and is a source of levity, lightening the mental load on the students, which makes them remember more. Some classes get daring and put it on the seat of another student while they are sitting down… quite funny to let the adults be kids. Bottom line is that the students become relaxed and comfortable in a hurry, setting up a good learning environment.

The ‘time keeper’ can’t stop watching the clock to squeak it again…otherwise people forget and I’m yapping away…

Just wanted to pass the fun stuff along…I’ve tried a lot and had some flops, but the rubber ducky is always a hit… especially when they are priced at 5 for a buck at the dollar store!

As you can see I can go on and on and should have been ‘squeaked’ back to my real job by now.

Thanks so much again and great job! Joe…”


A mentor of mine once told me, that sometimes, saying nothing is the most appropriate response. I think this is one of those times I will add no more.

To all the Instructors out there that we are better because of…

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