Looking for an activity that’s fun, engaging, and educational? Each week, Teaching with Star Wars will offer unique lessons for you and your younglings that promise to foster opportunities for discovery and learning, all through the lens of a galaxy far, far away. And it sounds like the bell just rang, so let’s head to the classroom now. Punch it, Chewie!
Grandmaster Yoda is perhaps the most respected and revered Jedi Knight in the history of the Jedi Order. His wisdom, intelligence, and Force abilities are second-to-none. For nearly nine hundred years, Yoda has helped countless Padawans become Jedi Knights, and his impact is immeasurable. He is the premiere teacher of the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy.
While Yoda’s knowledge and experience are essential aspects of what makes him such a well-respected instructor, there is one key ingredient that puts him over the top: his willingness to learn. Teachers should strive to be lifelong learners if they hope to grow in their respective craft, and Yoda knows that better than anyone. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this willingness to discover more about the Force and himself takes him to the swamp planet of Dagobah, at the prompting of the disembodied voice of Qui-Gon Jinn. It is on this planet where Yoda begins a path to self-discovery and learns of the Living Force and the Cosmic Force.
On this epic adventure, Yoda encounters Force Priestesses, a dark side shadow of himself, a phantasmic version of Darth Bane on the planet Moraband, and duels Darth Sidious on a mystical plane. Each test is difficult, as well as physically and mentally exerting. Yoda is put in a position where the rules and limits are unknown, and it is undeniably much different than what the Jedi Master is used to.
Typically, Yoda is the one giving lessons, advice, and testing his students. But in “Voices,” “Destiny,” and “Sacrifice,” he willingly undergoes his own set of trials and tribulations to become the student once again. All those years of teaching would seem to indicate that Yoda is well past learning anything, but his willingness to be vulnerable and open himself up to learning more about the Force proves even the wisest of Jedi Masters has something more to learn.
Yoda’s humility and honesty about himself are powerful examples for your Padawan. It would be easy for Yoda to refuse to take any tests, and cite his place of position and authority, alongside his Force abilities, to re-affirm his place of prestige in the galaxy. He could claim to be insulted that anyone would insinuate he has more to learn, but this is not who Yoda is. Yoda is legendary, but an essential reason why he is such a good teacher is that he is a lifelong learner as well. Much to learn, he still has, but he would not have it any other way.
Ask your Padawan to think about a teacher who is always open to learning new things. Perhaps they have shared a moment in their lives in which they took a new class, started a new hobby, or had to teach themselves something new. Like Grandmaster Yoda, those who teach, learn. And ask your Padawans what new things they’d like to learn themselves.
Dan Zehr is the host and brand director of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that examines the mythology of Star Wars from a place of intelligence and humor. He is also a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning.
Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheCloneWars