No Woodshop, No Problem: Escondido Teacher Finds New Ways to Hammer Home Important Lessons During Pandemic

A high school woodshop teacher in Escondido had to get creative to pull off the students' biggest project of the year amid the coronavirus pandemic

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For some high school courses, the transition from the classroom to computer has been easy.

For others, like Morgan Lundy's woodshop class at Classical Academy High School in Escondido, it's been anything but.

“They’re all very disappointed that they don’t get to actually build things, and that the materials are gone and that the tools aren’t there. So, it’s been difficult in that way," Lundy said.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced the school to close in March, the students were just starting to build their "Signs of Hope."

Lundy said it's the most important project they do in his class.

Each year, the students construct wood signs, paint them with inspirational messages, then deliver them to the Mountain Shadows community home for people with intellectual disabilities.

"I want the kids to learn how to care about other people more than themselves, how to look at broken things and realize there’s still great value there," Lundy said. “Signs of Hope and our trip to Mountain Shadows – there was nothing that brought those lessons to life like that.”

At first, Lundy, who was named NBC 7's Inspirational Teacher of the Month back in November 2018, feared he'd have to cancel the project.

Then, he figured out a way to rework it.

Lundy would build the signs, then the students would pick them up, paint them at home, and return them.

He would also have the students record a brief video message.

“Those videos are gonna be their way of getting to go to Mountain Shadows,” Lundy said. "Even if the resident can’t even get out of bed, they’ll get to watch this video, and then they’ll get to signal which wall they want and which sign they want. And they’ll get to see exactly who made their sign.”

Senior Wesley Pak's finished sign reads "To make something special, you have to believe that it’s special."

He said the message means a lot to him and he hopes someone at Mountain Shadows will find meaning in it as well.

“This is them giving encouragement and love to people that really need it, and I can’t think of anything that’s more important than that,” Lundy said.

Lundy said he plans to take the finished signs to Mountain Shadows next week.

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