The Jedi Mind Trick - A preschool story

in #steemiteducation6 years ago (edited)

I am a Jedi Master and the force is thriving in my preschool classroom. The dark side of the force, however, is strong with the young ones. Aggressive, they can be. Defiant, they are. Always negativity, they will demonstrate. My best Yoda speak, I will provide…

Seriously. They will say NO to everything with vigor. Wash your hands. NO! Put your coat in your cubby. NO! Clean up those toys. No, no, NO! You can see it now: Head turned, arms crossed, pout out, not budging. Easily they flow … and if once you start down the negative path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will …

Ok…ok…I’m a Star Wars geek. I’m just a simple teacher trying to make my way in the universe. Back to the Jedi mind trick, please.

Yes, I am a Jedi Master in my classroom because I can make my young apprentices do whatever I want simply by making a simple statement. A declarative statement. It is like that of the late, great Obi-Wan’s demonstration in the original (the best) Star Wars when he said these are not the droids you’re looking for. Let me give you a few scenarios.

Rose comes in from the playground. She does not place her coat all the way in her cubby. As she walks away, it falls out on the floor. She keeps walking. A Jedi Master does not say, “Pick up your coat!” That will prompt NO! A Jedi Master will say, “Rose, your coat is on the floor.”

Your coat is on the floor. BAM! Rose stops. Rose thinks, turns around, and sees her coat. It is indeed, on the floor. Then, with the intelligence level of a Stormtrooper (She’s three - it only insults the Stormtrooper) that young Jedi Rose will turn around and pick up her coat. Something I wanted her to do, but I never told her to do it!

Next, Ben enters the classroom. Instead of washing his hands as he does every morning, the blocks catch his eye. He heads right to the table. I do not say, “Ben, wash your hands.” I say, “Ben, the sink is over there.” The sink is over there. BAM! Ben stops. Ben thinks, turns around, and goes to wash his hands. Again, did I tell him to wash his hands? No. I told him where the sink was. He made up his own mind with the help of my own mind.

Later, as Ben plays with the blocks, his tower falls and there are blocks on the floor. There are blocks on the floor. That is all that needs to be said. BAM! Ben sees said blocks and begins to pick up. If by chance Ben’s mind is more powerful (he is five), the Jedi Master can continue with more statements. Build the blocks on the table, Ben. The blocks can go on the table, Ben. Hey Ben…Luke needs some of those blocks. They are on the floor.

The force flows within them. And my Jedi Mind Trick gives those stubborn preschoolers an invitation that they may or may not act upon. But they always choose to act upon it, because it is their choice. It is not me telling them what to do. Again, it is their choice. I have declarative statements for the whole damn day.

Everyone is in line – gets the kid to line up with everyone else
I found your name! – gets the kid to sign-in when arriving
Here’s your spot! – gets the kid to come to large group time

And this not only works if you’re a Jedi Master like me. It works if you are a parent, too! With the proper inflection, making sure it sounds totally casual, you can also trick your larger teenagers. Size matters not. Just do. There is no try.

Don't think it can work? I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Photo creds


This picture is taken at an Epcot Center store at Walt Disney World Orlando I hope you like it. Since I see you're a Star Wars Fan @upsydaisy


The Dark Side has none of these problems. Mainly because we don't have any younglings...

Look, Vader, I gave you cred at the end. Even found a photo of you from your glory days. You stay away from my babies you warthog from hell! I'm gonna follow you, though. Who knew you were so witty! Very enjoyable, Anakin.

Who is "Anakin"?

I thought you killed him?

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I am new to Steemit and appreciate your post. I'm just a writer, so all these numbers totally confuse me. But it sounds like folks like my writing, so that is wonderful to hear. Thanks!

Hey! I remember when you first started on here! I thought you were SOOO funny then....and I've come across you again today. This is awesome. Good stuff!

So... you have mastered the force power of passive aggressive guilt inducing shame commands.

Here's a noose.

download (1).jpg

Just kidding! Thanks for sharing the post. It made me laugh.

I never thought of the passive/aggressive guilt...I guess that's another way to put it. Ha! Well, when a kid literally reaches into his pants and scratches his butt, I will do whatever it takes to get him to wash his hands!

It depends on the intention behind the suggestions. I shared in another reply how this method is perfect for me. I can be like a distracted child with ADHD. I'm in a hurry to go to the next thing and stop paying attention to what I'm doing. When someone points out something​ I've forgotten and know to do. I naturally do the right thing. I don't need to be shamed into doing it. But given the way that I was brought up, I'm more susceptible​ to feeling shame if the wording of the​ sentence that brings my attention back is to similar to how I was shamed in the past.

It's just a nicer way of talking to people, really. Ordering folks sucks.

Beautifully said! Resteemed. And you earned a 100% upvote!

No one likes to be forced to do anything, kids are different from adults in that they can’t pretend to be ok with it, and they shouldn’t! Your method is great in that it doesn’t really impinge on their freedom but shows them why they should do what you would like them to do... it’s just a suggestion ;-)

I agree...that is another reason why I love using that language. I really don't want to command them around the room all day. But after wiping boogers, they really do need to wash their hands. So whatever works! Thanks!

I'm a speech-language pathologist and I'm going to try this out immediately! I struggle with older students (my more mod-severe kids) being SO prompt dependent by the time they hit middle school because they've been told what to do all their lives and haven't been taught to think for themselves. This phrasing puts the students in control and creates space for them to think on their own while secretly prompting them through. I love it!!!

Thanks! This was actually based off an approach called Relationship Development Intervention for children with autism. I haven't looked it up in years, but that's where I first heard of it. It may be worth a search for you.

I've heard great things about it! Will do - most of my caseload is made up of children with ASD

It's good seeing another teacher practicing the force. I do wonder if we may all one day just join @lordvader on the dark side...

I will never turn to the dark side. Evil, he is. Please consider joining the resistance. Teachers must unite. Thank you for reading, and may the force be with you.

My faith in you grows every day.

You are so awesome! I love this. At walgreens last year I got someone a gift of Jedi robes on clearance for $5. If you showed up to teach your preschool class wearing them you would be legendary. If you're teaching preschool may I suggest this book set?

Thank you so much!!! I'm gonna get these books asap!

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