When Yoda Taught Pre-K
By Abby Connors (in Teachers Net Gazette)
Recently, a team of archaeologists in the Dagobah system discovered an ancient parchment. Estimated to date from at least four million years B.C., or as researchers stated, “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” it is written in a language resembling a clumsy and annoying version of English.
In the very first paragraph, the writer reveals himself to be none other than the Jedi master Yoda. The document’s contents appear to solve the mystery of Yoda’s “lost years,” during which scholars had previously speculated the tiny green guru had been hanging out in cantinas, practicing his wise, enigmatic smile and legendary dance moves.
The ancient text tells a far different story.
Apparently, long after he had become a Jedi master, Yoda, through centuries of study and meditation, achieved an even higher level of wisdom, and was initiated into the “highest path,” that of the early childhood teacher.
Although the document was crumbling with age and covered in swamp slime, the team was able to decipher the following words, which seem to be either teacher instruction materials or quotes from inspiring, if awkwardly phrased, social media memes:
“Children free playtime need, even if in the swamp they fall. Fine they will be.”
“A calm expression and a gentle tongue, try to keep you must.” (Probably, the adorable Jedi wrote this before realizing that “there is no try.”)
“Our convoluted, stilted language, teach them you must, and whatever number system we use on this planet. But overboard do not go. And worksheets – Pah! From the Dark Side they come.”
“Challenges I have faced. Little Obi-Wan Kenobi – the Force was strong in that one. Strong and loud. Very, very loud. And Chewbacca – a sweet child, but use his words he did not!”
“Listen to children you must. Yes, yes, easy with ears like mine, ha ha. But listening different from hearing is. When you hear with love and respect, then listening you are.”
“Storytime do not forget. Also music and art. More to life there is than fencing with light sabers and putting spells on jabbering Jawas.”
“Bad days you will have. Even my mentor, who more awesome than me was, if believe it you can – even she at times ‘it’ lost. Beat yourself up about it, do not.”
“If care about them you do, and gentle you remain – (Oh yes, and the listening – I know already mentioned this I did, but essential it is) – strong Jedi masters your students will grow to be.”
“Stop writing I must, exhausted I am. Why always one parent who picks up their child an hour after closing, does there have to be?”
Through carbon-14 dating and other science things, the document has been confirmed to be authentic. The research team was puzzled, however, by a complete lack of any blocks, toys, tiny chairs, or other objects associated with early childhood classrooms. They speculate that these would have disintegrated long ago in the swamp ooze of Dagobah. The only clue remaining to this fascinating chapter of galactic history is the Yoda manuscript. That, and several tons of sparkly glitter, which researchers are still trying to remove from their hair and clothing.