Deep Respect for Each Hero (Year 2, Week 14)
After an exciting holiday break, the heroes have come back to the studio with a challenging question: If you lost one of your senses, which would make your hero’s journey the most difficult? This led to a discussion about doing courageous things, even when they are hard, as a core element of a hero’s journey. Socratic discussions are a key element of learning at Heroes Academy. They help the heroes develop their ability to critically think, while also exposing them to difficult questions that help shape they way they view themselves and the world around them.
This session the heroes will be continuing on their core skills while also discovering what it means to be a game designer. Each hero will also have the opportunity to read tales of courage and discover what courage means to them. At Heroes Academy, we believe each hero should have the opportunity to discover what impact they can have on the world when they develop positive character traits like courage.
Throughout this session, the heroes will be working towards writing a Hero’s Journey story of their own, featuring an act of courage. They will have the opportunity to submit their stories to Stone Soup, an online story site for young people. Heroes whose stories are selected will have their story featured in an issue of Stone Soup and made available to the public on the website. Each hero will also have the option to submit an illustration they create along with their story. They have started by looking at, and critiquing, other hero stories and identifying key features that make them interesting to watch or read.
Town Hall Meeting
The first town hall meeting of the session opened with a discussion on Freedom levels and points during short weeks. After a lively debate and with a majority vote, they decided they on a solution that was then pitched to guides and implemented. The outcome was a more fair system on short weeks.
Game Design Quest
This Session it’s all about game design! The heroes will learn about probability and effective critique as they complete challenges for this quest. At the end of the session, they will have the opportunity to introduce the new board games and online games they have designed to the public for a real world exhibition. The heroes were really excited to begin working on their Game Design challenges and put a lot of effort into completing them!
What Makes a Good Guide
At Heroes Academy, adults are not teachers. They are guides. Guides deeply respect the journey of the heroes, and offer them affirmation and support on their journey. Meaningful input from heroes is taken seriously and important. On Monday. the new Heroes Academy guide, Christal, asked the question “What makes a helpful guide?” The heroes provided helpful advice for the guides including:
- Act as a mediator for conflict resolution.
- Don’t just answer questions with “what do you think.” Provide a thoughtful follow-up question when a hero asks you something.
- If a hero can’t figure out how to find what they are looking for, help point them in the right direction without giving them the answer.
- Don’t be afraid to give a strike if a hero is breaking the Strike contract.
New guides at Heroes Academy are challenged to ask a lot of questions and learn from the heroes, giving respect to their studio and the processes and systems they are in charge of. It’s a very important relationship and there is a deep sense of respect for each hero on this unique journey.
Roaring Readers Challenge
A new challenge was introduced this week for the heroes to complete at home. The heroes have been challenged to complete 400–600 minutes of reading at home; depending on their reading level. If they are able to complete this challenge they will earn a ticket to Roaring Springs! The deadline for this challenge is 3/29/2019.
In the Tuesday morning launch, the heroes discussed what book had most changed them. Here are a few of their inspiring responses:
“Junie Jones because it taught me how to read.”
“Wonder because it taught me about how other people feel.”
“Unbroken for this because it taught me a lot about perseverance…”
“Calvin and Hobbes because it’s gave me a ton of ideas.”
“My first chapter book is changing me because now I have something I like to read.”
Each Wednesday morning, the heroes participate in outdoor experience. They began their first experience this session by coming up with a process for choosing the outdoor experience of the week. After a short discussion, it was decided that they would split into 2 groups. Each group has 5 minutes to come to a decision on the game they would like to play during outdoor experience that day. After the 5 minutes is up, the 2 groups meet on the rug and present their ideas, the heroes vote to decide between the two ideas.
For their first outdoor experience of the session, the heroes voted to play capture the flag! They apparently really love this game because they have been playing it for several weeks now in outdoor experience and free time.
This session, the heroes have decided to take over Daily Reflections. Each day, a hero chooses a reflection prompt from a hat and writes it on the board. The heroes then spend 5–10 minutes writing a reflection that they have the opportunity to share at the end of the day in their journal.
Last session, the heroes pitched excursion ideas. The heroes voted and the winning idea was pitched by Caden, who pitched VR1! The heroes each enjoyed time on a variety of games from carnival rides to Beat Saber. Many of the heroes also chose to make a big mess in the job simulator!
We asked the heroes: what was the most enjoyable part of your VR1 experience?
- Trying something new. I had never tried VR before
- Getting to see something I wouldn’t normally get to see in real life.
- The challenge of playing a difficult game.
At Heroes Academy, we believe learning should be tied to real world outcomes. It’s amazing to see what children can do when the choices matter. And while the focus is to inspire them to go out and change the world, the truth is that the work they are doing inside the walls of this little school is already changing the world.