Over the course of the past four weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to settle into my new role as Vice Principal. As a very active classroom teacher, the journey from the classroom to the main office was one with intentional and meaningful discernment that has proven to be critical in my work thus far.
With a focus on culture building and serving all community stakeholders, the last four weeks have provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of leadership and build reimagined relationships with staff and students who I’ve known for a number of years. These relationships are so very important in my goal to help my school continue to thrive as a safe place that empowers all learners to become what God intends them to be. This is to say that as I continue to learn about my new role, I thrive to be a Servant Leader who is responsive to community and one who enables others to see and harness their potential.
Speaking to Servant Leadership, I was recently visited by a student who looked perplexed to see a poster for the original Star Wars on my office wall. As the student stood in the doorway, he asked “Sir, what’s with the Star Wars poster?” I suppose he was expecting the decor to be a bit more formal. Nonetheless, I asked the student to sit down, invited him to take a chocolate from my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles candy jar and promptly began to give him an unsolicited disposition on Luke Skywalker and leadership. The poor soul was most certainly looking for a quick exit but I suppose he took pity on me.
As I shared with him, the original Star Wars provides a master class in leadership education. As Luke travels upon Joseph Conrad’s hero’s journey, he is faced with the leadership provocation: Who are you called to be? He is challenged to look into this soul and embrace his sense of self, while looking to his past and the potential of his future. This is very much echoed in the scene of Luke looking at the two suns of Tatooine.
So much more than a feat of special effects wizardry, the suns represent Luke’s discernment and his reflection on who is and who he wants to become. As such, the moon’s rest as a symbol of dual fates as Luke reflects on where he is and where he yearns to be. As he looks onto the sunset his stands in discernment about who he is called to be.
Now even more perplexed and truly looking for his quick exit, the student continued to humour me as I shared that the poster really resonates with me and who I am working to be as his Vice Principal. Like Luke, I was looking for a new beginning and an opportunity to answer a call of action. Like Luke who wanted to serve the Rebellion in the epic battle against the Empire, I too was looking to serve – called to serve.
In this new journey of leadership, my hope is to learn immensely, serve and like Luke, help others to be empowered, autonomous leaders themselves. Like Luke who helped Hans Solo see himself as a hero, I look to the two moons of leadership with continued contemplation and positive outlook.