All Hands on Deck; Don’t Deck the Hands

Today in Vacation Bible School at the church we were wrapping up over 200 barbeque sandwiches. It took a while to work out the system. When we first started we'd run into each other and shuffle, but eventually we got the system down. We were laughing because one person saw a “quality control” issue where we'd put two bun tops together.  We laughed and fixed it – but she commented:

“Wouldn't you know when that happens that the most ornery person in the whole place would have gotten that sandwich.”

Yes, that is about how it goes.

This quote came out of that conversation – we had to do another 50 plates and I yelled out —

“All hands on deck and don't deck the hands!”  

(For my international friends, deck is a word for slugging or hitting someone!)

Someone else said

“And if our hand quits, we don't have any more hands!”

It fits.

Why do we deck the hands?
Sometimes when we've got everyone working on something new and there is an issue, we lay blame on the hands! This is particularly irritating if we let someone who isn't even working in the process totally frustrate and make us want to quit. (i.e. the ornery person who got the bbq sandwich with two tops!)

Those people are working, sweating, and have just produced many excellent products and mess up on one! Just one! Don't deck the hands, friends!  They might not quit on your physically but they just might quit psychologically which is even worse. Then, you have a body taking a spot who isn't really there!

So, as you work on 1:1 laptop implementation and all of the projects this summer — call it out!

“All hands on deck; don't deck the hands!”

Good luck!

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8 thoughts on “All Hands on Deck; Don’t Deck the Hands

  1. I really like your blog. I used to teach ESL for about 10 years in Taiwan. Now I am back in the USA and I work in the computer industry, but I still write educational songs for children for fun. My website is My goal is to make learning delicious one song at a time. I just released a new project titled Learning Buffet and you can download free mp3 of the song “Love My Cat” and “Chinese Zodiac Sign” at the home page. Please visit, download the song “For Free”, tell your friends and share your thoughts. Keep up the COOL CAT Blogging. 🙂

  2. Words to live by indeed. We recently had a blame game going on in our household. My 5 year old son got a pair of beard scissors out of the bathroom and cut his hair in two places leaving bald spots. My husband had to buzz his hair off. My son keeps telling everyone that his new haircut is “all Daddy’s fault.” It’s not exactly related to what you were talking about, but it’s a cute story. On decking hands, a little understanding and mercy goes a long way when working on projects.

  3. I LOVE your site! I just started my own site called TeacherThink, which gives HowTos, Reviews, and a general place for teachers to THINK. I agree that teaching is a noble calling…thanks for your work!

    TeacherThink Jeff

  4. “Vacation Bible School”? DO you mean “further brainwashing of children”?

    What a disgusting concept.

  5. Vicki;

    Great post! I do agree that when we are implementing a new idea, concept or technology, and when, almost inevitably things go slower than expected, we see that someone gets the blame for it not working the way it should. Rather, we should see how it is we may help in making the implementation go smoother.

  6. @YESnack – Thank you for sharing your site, I’ll take a look.

    @Bron-wyn – I love the story! Thank goodness children’s hair grow back quickly.

    @Teacherthink – I’ll take a look – not sure if you put a hyperlink in, though – feel free to show one.

    @Graham – LOL – “Ornery” means “fussy” or “crabby” or just “cranky” — any of those relate?

    @Slrman – I fully respect your right and your opinion, however, this event is truly one of the greatest in our community. Each of us should make up our own mind on facts of religion (and certainly it sounds like you’ve made up yours) – it is good for children to understand their options and make up their own minds – surely absence of any acknowledgement of religion is also a brainwashing of sorts as well. Again, I fully respect your right to believe as you do and hope that you know I welcome your right to your opinion to be shared here.

    @John – Very well phrased comment there – wow – I need to go back and insert that into the post. I hope that this helps those who play the blame game to realize that they should step back and be part of the solution.

  7. @Vicki,

    You can click on my name (before “said”) to get the hyperlink…but here it is: It is still a ways away, but I plan on putting some time into it! So please don’t give up on it. In response to the VBS comment by @sirman: open your mind a little bit. Wow! I feel bad for your kids if you have any, for they certainly won’t have the chance to make up their mind for themselves…I call that brainwashing!


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