SLCBC Earn-a-Bike Curriculum
Teaching plans are adapted depending on class size, class length, and number of classes.
Free for All
This sounds bad, but if you have enough volunteers / paid staff it can be a great way for kids to just jump in and learn. The big dilemma is the student teacher ratio, since each kid is going at their own pace -- some will get done too fast, too slow, and all of them will have constant and redundant questions.
Concentrate teaching each kid a different task, like repacking 3-piece bottom brackets, 1-piece bottom brackets, running brake cables, etc.,... that way when another kid needs to learn that you can have kids teaching each other. The pit fall is that most kids will need to be reminded that they need to "tell" their peer how to do it but not do it "for" them. Another pit fall is remembering which kid knows which task, and hoping they all show up every time.
Fully demonstrate the task or show it in video format like Bicycle Tutor.
We have tried the free-for-all method of just letting kids go to town, but that requires constant attention and redundant questions. The method that we have settled on
Welcome to the Shop
The first time should be full of questions, not lecturing, give the kids to drive the questions.
Q: What is this place? A: This is a community bike shop, not a retail bike shop, which means you can come and use these tools, find parts, and volunteer.
Q: When can we pick out our bikes? (This question will repeat) A: After you have demonstrated your ability to Fix a Flat Tire, repack a Bottom Bracket, repack a headset, and repack a hub you can pick out bikes, we will also be fitting a helmet to you.
Q: Got Pegs? (This question will repeat) A: We may have a few, if there isn't enough to go around and people fight over them -- no one gets them.
Q: Where are the bathrooms? A: They are in the back of the shop. So that we don't run out and you have to go home with dirty hands, please do not waste paper towels or hand soap.
Q: Do you have water? A: There is a cooler to the right of the refrigerator, please write your name on a paper cup and use it the entire time you are here. If you have any water left over you can dump it in the garden in front and then throw way the cup.