Community of Life-Long Learners (Year 3, Week 1)
Imagine the year is 2039. You are all 20 years older and wiser. How old are you in 2039? Can you picture your older self? Do you look the same? Feel the same? Where are you on your hero’s journey?
This is the discussion that kicked off the year, placing the heroes into the future, imagining what it might be like to have embarked on a new adventure, having found a calling, out to change the world.
As the heroes imagined what the future might be like, they were challenged to considered how much the choices they make today impact that future. Then envisioned what they wanted out of this year. This was the first introduction to this year’s question of the year:
“Does the past determine the future?”
We will circle back on this frequently throughout the year as we approach this challenging question from different angles, and consider the impact of our choices today.
Tuesday’s launch started with this video:
After learning about the science of kindness, they were challenged with this question:
Who feels better when someone is kind, the person who is kind, or the person who receives kindness?
The heroes were then introduced the character trait of the session and challenged to create their first contract promise. After some deliberation, they chose to add “always speak with kindness” as their first contract promise.
This year, the heroes will focusing more on connection, specifically in building a closely connect community of life-long learners. There will be more opportunities to show compassion and support for fellow travelers, as well as be open and vulnerable as they face challenges on their hero’s journey.
The heroes all joined together for another team building activity Wednesday morning to cross the Chocolate River, a nerve-wracking game that requires them to band together and strategize to get across the river by standing on marshmallows. One must be careful, however, to not let the hungry alligator eat your marshmallows or you will be stuck and have to begin again!
After much collaboration, the heroes finally crossed the chocolate river!
After the game, the heroes came together to reflect on their experience. They took time to highlight and celebrate those they saw keeping their new promise to always speak with kindness. A few other courageous heroes shared how they felt they failed in keeping their promise, sharing their renewed commitment to their promise. This is one examples of connection as the heroes courageously lift others and share in failures, and a really inspiring display of humilty and kindness.
Building the Community
The heroes spent much of the week building and implementing systems and processes to deliver excellence. Some of the systems that were implemented this week were the studio maintenance system (to keep the studio clean), rules of engagement (to have powerful and meaningful discussions), and the beginnings of a studio contract (to govern the community). Studio systems and processes are designed to give the heroes ownership over their learning and community, while delivering the highest standards of excellence.
Lip Dub Challenge
Footloose! Kick off your Sunday shoes!
Another Lip Dub Challenge got the heroes dancing and signing as they worked together to create a memorable lip dub to launch the year.
After discussing excellence, the heroes decided that an excellent lip dub would have the following:
- Start on time
- Can see faces in camera
- Everyone looking at the camera
- Everyone mouthing words
- Original and different
- Everyone trying their best
- Camera not shaky
- No fingers in camera
- No fortnight dances
- Creative random things happening
- Everyone in it
- Taken in one shot
Here’s what they came up with:
They faced many obstacles from shaky filming, multiple re-takes (16 takes) and lyric memorization, but the heroes perservered and created something they were excited to share. While not all agreed that it reached a high standard of excellence, they ran out of time and felt it was ready to for public viewing.
Town Hall Meeting
Friday began with an introduction to Town Hall Meeting, a time for the heroes to bring forward community issues or things they want to celebrate. Betsy and Adri pitched an idea for gift bags that ultimately didn’t pass. Kai pitched to bring back Mindfulness after free time, which did pass. Zane pitched having a pet day, which also passed.
Friday afternoon weekly reflections were introduced.
The heroes journaled their reflections on two questions:
What is the most important thing you learned this week? and what was the most challenging thing you faced this week?
The heroes were challenged to reflect on these questions in their journal, then send them in an email to their parents.
Every new year that unfolds at Heroes Academy comes with the wisdom from hard lessons learned of the past. So does the past determine the future? We’ll continue to explore that thought provoking question, but one thing seems to be clear this year, the lessons have brought us to a new high, where a world class community is unfolding, where heroes are inspired to take on real challenges in their learning and community, equipped with the tools to get there, and connected together on that journey. Inspire, equip, connect. The keys to building a community of life-long learners.