Year-end Reflections – Lessons from Yoda (Star Wars – v.2)

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.

Jedi Master Yoda

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 and Luke

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.

The Left-Handed Advantage

Being a southpaw, I loved writing this particular post. I had a smile on my face the entire time, so be warned — I’m riding a wave of superiority at the moment.

As great as left-handed people are — we have suffered in silence for a very long time. While we make up about 10% of the general population the world has been constructed for ‘righties’. We have had a rough ride:

I despised these desks in university
  • Scissors — Just try using your left hand. Go ahead and try — I dare you;
  • Door knobs — made to turn to the right which is physiologically easier for righties;
  • Automobile manual transmission gear shifts — unless you’re in England, Australia or a small number of other places;
  • 3-Ring Binders — impossible for lefties to write on the right side of the rings where most lined paper is designed because our wrist is actually hooked when we write;
  • Ball-point pens — don’t work well for lefties because we push the pen rather than pull it;
  • Computer keyboard number pad — always on the right side;
  • University theatre desks (see above) – arrgh!
  • Can openers – arrgh again!
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Building Better Schools Is All About Understanding Context

earl grey tea

Replicating Earl Grey Tea

We all want our schools to be successful.  So, when we see something working really well at one school there’s a tendency to want to replicate it somewhere else.  But how do we do that?  Is there a guaranteed way to ensure success?

Permit me to digress for just a moment into the world of science fiction …

Star Wars is the standard by which all other movies are measured.  Agreed.  However, I HAVE been known to watch the occasional Star Trek TV episode.  How cool was their food replicator on their starships?  You could produce any food or drink item just by asking the replicator computer to make it.  Poof!  Instant ice cream sundae, chocolate cake or Earl Grey tea.

  • No more cooking.
  • No more wasted time cleaning.
  • Instant replication of something you really like.

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