Ben Molloy, Central Campus, Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, Iowa
Ben Molloy, a home building teacher at Central Campus of Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa, says that he fell in love with teaching 30 years ago and has been an educator ever since. "I graduated from [Central Campus] myself; when I saw an opportunity to teach [there], I took it," explains Molloy.
As a home building teacher, Molloy says that it is easy to motivate his students because of the hands-on experiences and real world examples they are exposed to constantly. "My students are building a house from the ground up," he continues, "At our school, we have an A/B schedule which means that each group is with me for a majority of the day, every other day. This way, we’re able to work in all trades related to the house profession [in depth]."
As part of a statewide initiative for safety education through the Iowa Department of Education, Molloy was introduced to the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour training. He not only felt that this training would provide a safety foundation for his teachings, but his students would receive a credential that will make them more employable in the future. "Often, my students are new to construction and have no idea what I’m going to be talking about…They have no real world references, and OSHA training gives them a better understanding and familiarity with what OSHA is and what the requirements are. It’s very helpful for new students," he explains.
In addition to OSHA safety training, Molloy’s students visit a local OSHA office and residential and commercial construction sites for walk-throughs. He believes that visiting these local sites give his students a unique perspective on the construction industry before they finish high school. Molloy feels confident the importance of safety is engrained into his students and they are prepared for their future endeavors.
Molloy’s students are involved in every aspects of the construction phases and have learned to work together to get a project completed. He even says he has noticed his students are using safety procedures without his direction during the process, which for him is empirical evidence that the information is making a difference.
He explains nobody wants an incident to occur due to negligence. When events do happen there is not only a physical impact but it also effects all parties involved emotionally. Molloy continues, "Safety is a group effort, it’s not just about you. You are only as safe as the people you are working with."
Molloy says that his favorite aspect of teaching is seeing his students grab hold of the information and apply it. "Watching them take the information and create something through their hands, safely, is the most rewarding thing about this job."