Kirk vs Spock

A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues called me to talk through our process for data collection. He said he had a constant struggle with the need to collect data on our students academic needs and the knowledge that our students cannot perform academically without social and emotional support. He described his conflict as a battle between the logical mind of Mr. Spock who uses data to solve problems and the animated Captain Kirk and his reliance on emotions to solve problems. He wisely stated that educators need to have a bit of both Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk to help the whole child. We need academic data to determine areas that need support and we need to develop social connections with students to help them succeed with life skills. He then told me that it sounded like the theme for one of my blog posts. Little did he know, I was already writing down his idea for this current post!

As educators, we need to embrace the best of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock when working with students. With so much at stake, we need to allocate our resources wisely in helping students achieve academically. That’s the data collection and analysis and using that data to drive our instruction. However, most educators have a goal of changing lives and not just improving test scores. To do that, we need to harness our passions and make those human connections with our students. If we can ignite a love of learning, encourage the hearts of our students, and truly inspire them then they will become life-long learners.

My friend said he struggled with when to rely on data and when to rely on emotions. That’s the balance that every great educator struggles to find and the fact that he was struggling showed his dedication. There is no magic formula, just a constant struggle to find the balance that each child needs. I think the synergy that came from Kirk and Spock was because they were so different and yet had the same vision and goal. Don’t be afraid to embrace both the analytical and emotional methods for helping students. They need both and the best educators give students what they need!



“It is a capitol mistake to theorize before one has data.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Experts often possess more data than judgement.” – Colin Powell

“I feel like a number.” – Bob Seger



  • Monday, October 23: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, October 24: IEP for ED (Haapala) 8:15 AM, Administrative Leadership Team K-12 at Riley 3:00 – 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday, October 25: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 26: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Picture Retakes in the morning, Jon to ABC negotiations at 1:30 PM
  • Friday, October 27: PTA BOO BASH 6:00-8:00 PM


  • Monday, October 30: Student of the Month Assembly (Responsibility) 9:05 AM, Jon to Principals Advisory Committee 9:30-11:30 AM
  • Tuesday, October 31: Parent Meeting for KH (Williams and Achievement Team) 8:15 AM, Halloween Costume Parade 3:20 PM
  • Thursday, November 2: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM


  • Tuesday, November 7: No Students / District PD day

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