As this school year draws to a close I have begun to reflect on the year that has been — and its importance to my personal and professional growth. And because I love Star Wars — I have now connected some of this learning to the wise and articulate Yoda — master of the Jedi Knights.
So, without further ado … here are some of my 2018-19 reflections as Superintendent. May the Force Be With You:
YOU WILL ONLY FIND WHAT YOU BRING IN
Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Yoda told his young apprentice (Luke Skywalker) to not take his anger, fear and weapons into the dark cave as bringing these would only result in conflict. His words proved to be prophetic.
In life we bring both our negative and positive experiences to a current situation. I reminded myself this year to leave my negative reactions at the door and remain open to new ideas, thoughts and opinions. Fear and anger do not open doors, but close them.
Like many people in education I’ve been through a few interviews — for myself it’s probably somewhere north of 30. It sounds like a lot and I suppose that it is a lot. However, sometimes there were multiple interviews for the same job — positions like Science Department Head where I needed to interview in several different schools, or in the case of my current position as Superintendent I had 4 rounds of interviews.
And if I look from the other side of the interview table when I worked in Human Resources, district leadership and school administration I’m sure that I must have interviewed at least 300-400 people.
Be Yourself — It’s the Person You Already Know the Best
So, all being said, I’ve been in a ton of interviews. I can’t even accurately estimate the number of resumes that I’ve read — it must be over 2000.
And over my past 30 years in education I’ve noticed a few things that I think can make a big difference when someone is applying for a job. I thought that you might be interested in hearing some of them.
A triangle is the ONLY two dimensional polygon that cannot collapse or bend — it is surprisingly strong for its simple shape. That’s its beauty — all 3 sides work together to find strength. A square – -a shape with just one more side — doesn’t have this strength. It will easily bend or collapse.
A Triangle Easily Resists an Applied Force, but a Square Folds Like a Cheap Tent
The triangle is well known to engineers who use it ubiquitously in our world because of its elegance and surprising strength. You can’t walk down the street without seeing triangles just about everywhere.