Star Wars Day/World Labyrinth Day (May 4)

Image by Ksenia Chernaya

“Life is a kind of labyrinth, with all its twists and turns, its straight path, and its occasional dead ends.” 

Jim Henson

World Labyrinth Day is celebrated in walks and adventures on May 4. The Australian Labyrinth Network (ALN) was established in early 2018. The ALN stated purpose:

“Is to meet and support people; wherever they are on the path, to walk together creating the labyrinth as an integral part of the communities in which they live, learn, work, play and pray.”

The ALN website provides resources for educators, events, and a growing map with locations of labyrinths across Australia. Can you find one near you?

Fact: Labyrinths have a single continuous path which leads to the centre, and as long as you go forward you get there.

Teaching can feel like you are navigating your way through the labyrinth that is policy, pedagogy, and practice. The complexity and challenges that principals now manage is full of twists and turns. The community at large, often fails to recognise the fact that teaching is one of the most important jobs in our society.

Some states are a few weeks into Term 2, and some are getting ready to jump in. Anyone following teachers on social media can see them working during the school holidays. Some cleaning and arranging their classrooms, preparing teaching resources and completing more mandatory compliance tasks. You can see others reading and preparing professional learning material to deliver to other staff.

Labyrinths hold spiritual meaning, offering time for individuals to walk, grow and gain an understanding of self. Spirituality is so much more than religious doctrine, in fact, self-reflection is a cornerstone of belief and confidence to achieve.

Self-care is an important part of life. Teachers can overlook the importance of finding balance between work and home – school can be all consuming! Self-reflection and creating space in the week for a walk is achievable.

The drivers of educational policy and curriculum are sometimes clouded by slick announcements, reshuffles and shock jocks jumping up and down. The History Wars and Culture Wars are fought along party lines. We are now fighting a Climate War – science and fact under siege from forces unseen.

It is almost sounds like an extension of the grand Stars Wars stories.

May the Fourth is a spin of the salutation ‘May the Force be with you’ – a reference to all things good and powerful in the universe.

Teachers have patience and empathy as their force to use. It is teachers who find joy and create that wonder in the classroom. School leaders might feel the need to wield a lightsaber to cut through the avalanche of administration that is being forced onto their desks. The flurry in headline news, pushing a renewed focus on discipline is another time pressure in schools.

Teachers need time to teach.

May the 4th be with you!