“They can come out here and be a part of something.” Local Teacher Encourages Hands-On Learning

The Robinson Auto Shop Class during a lesson taught by Mr. Dave Holubek. (WTHI Photo)
The Robinson Auto Shop Class during a lesson taught by Mr. Dave Holubek. (WTHI Photo)

ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) – Reading textbooks and making note cards are common in the education world.

But one Illinois high school offers a unique learning opportunity.

Through the automotive program offered at Robinson High School, Junior Joseph Richardson will have a leg up on his next chapter in life.

Richardson says, “I kind of want to be a mechanic when I grow up, so this is teaching me the basics of what college is going to. So I feel like that will help me in the future.”

While elective courses are being cut across the country, they’re a booming priority in Crawford County.

The auto shop class is under the instruction of teacher Dave Holubek.

He’s been with the district the last 17 years.

He says, “I try to have a loose atmosphere out here to where the kids can feel like that they can come out here and be a part of something that is not offered up in the building in a classroom setting.”

But Holubek says the lessons before hitting the shop can’t be overlooked.

Especially with a 1940 Ford Deluxe Convertible that belonged to his father on the line.

He says, “About 12 years of working on the car, I’ve had probably well over 100 students had their hands involved in one way, shape, or form.”

Many trades classes have disappeared as a quick way to balance a school budget.

But Holubek says these courses are worth every penny, and minute invested.

He says, “There’s guys retiring from this field every day, so we’re going to need those mechanics to step in, and it all starts here.”

Richardson adds, “Most people don’t really have like the learning capabilities to sit in the classroom doing packets all the time, so I think this is good for most people.”

Holubek says in addition to Robinson, the program actually serves Hustonville-Palestine and Oblong.

He says he often tweaks how the curriculum is taught to fit each class’ skill level.