LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — A long-time Bay District teacher has turned his classroom into a woodshop to teach his students some traditional, and not-so-traditional, textbook skills. 

Chad Wallis is a graduation coach and teacher at New Horizons Learning Center.

He’s using woodworking to teach student life skills.

“We have a lot of students in our class that do very well,” Wallis said. “They’re up and moving and they’re touching things and they’re not sitting down. So I thought those would be some great opportunities for us to throw into the classroom.”

When traditional schools can’t meet a student’s learning needs, New Horizons Learning Center is there as an alternative.

Wallis is aiding students in the learning processes, teaching them traditional textbook skills by building rustic wooden American flags.

“Teach them their math skills, but on the real the real math skills of using measurements, understanding heights and depth and dimension, how things work more like a 3D type of feel So we used that those skills took our math skills, took our reading of instructions, which is going to be our reading skills, the real world type of education,” Wallis said. 

Students also pick up a new set of skills in the process. 

“I would say about 90 percent of the students that I had had never looked at a measuring stick, didn’t know the basic math skills to understand angles, had never put their hands on any power tools,” Wallis said. “Maybe a hammer. But overall, no. When I laid out a smorgasbord of all of our tools, they had no idea what any of these things did.”

Ty’zaun Smiley said he wishes more of his classes were like that. 

“Like what school is I really didn’t like to go to class,” Smiley said. “It wasn’t hard. And just like I just didn’t like it. But once I got I missed a lot of class. I was what they were doing. It was interesting. So I tried it, and I actually really learned from it. I feel like all of us learned from it. All of us, I want to come to school or be in class. But I feel like once we got in here and, we seeing what was going on, like it was interesting to all of us. I feel like everybody learned from it.”

Wallis’ class turned $50 in donated materials into a $350 profit that will go towards helping pay for prom.