Different Communication Styles

The heroes walked in Monday morning with determination to get things done. This session has been one of the most intentional throughout the year. Even with some bumps along the way. They walked in Monday and got situated into flow phase at a record breaking three minutes. It was silent and intentional for the next hour. All focused on getting their core skills done so they could move onto bigger projects.

On Monday, they used collaboration to get their quest and yearbook deadlines met. There were heroes working on sewing, the x-carve and trying to figure out which platform they should use to print off their yearbook. It was eye opening to watch the heroes truly flourish by taking away a lot of restrictions that had been previously implemented into Quest and Writer’s Workshop. With the simple challenges such as; create a yearbook and make something, the heroes have gone above and beyond surpassing expectations and ultimately creating using their imaginations and work ethic to their full extent.

Systems

On Tuesday, a couple heroes decided that the studio needed a new system. About two months ago a guide had set up a recycling bin, needless to say, it didn’t take off and somewhere along the way the recycling bin disappeared. However, with all of the work and creation going on in the Maker Space, a ton of recycling materials had been piling up and sadly thrown away.

They had enough of the mess. They came up to a guide and said,

“We are going to create a recycling spot. We need a bin and it is very important that we have that bin today or as soon as possible.”

Their ability to say what they need and when they need it is a communication skill that most adults would envy. They got their bin and got to work. They sat at the collaboration desk and created their logo and design. They then decided they needed a list of items that could be recycled. They were worried that people would just throw whatever they wanted to in the bin without it being able to be recycled.

After they were done creating their system, they notified their fellow heroes on where the bin would be and what items could go in it. They also decided that they would be solely responsible for taking out the recycling and keeping the area clean, on top of their normal studio maintenance jobs. If there is one thing the heroes truly excel at, it would be taking initiative.

Quest

The heroes were challenged to start setting up their booth for exhibition. This session the heroes were so excited about being able to be totally free to make what they wanted and what inspired them. So, it was no surprise that most of the heroes were done ahead of time. Therefor, it was time for them to get to work on creating a space that gave them enough room to show off what they made and allowed families enough space to enjoy their display.

The only stipulations were to have an area in which they could showcase their work and show off their personalities. The heroes outdid themselves when designing their areas. Some heroes hung up streamers and balloons to match their color format. Others decided on using props that enhanced their themes. Each station truly matched the personalities of the individual heroes and really showcased all of the work and time they put into their projects.

Since the heroes were well on their way to being finished for exhibition, Jake had brought in a special challenge during the week for the heroes to participate in. Jake thought it would be special for the heroes to leave their mark on the school. First, they were challenged to pick a design that represented their personalities and who they are as people. Next they were to pick out a color from the plastic tiles he had brought in. Their last challenge was to use the X-Carve to design their tile and when it was finished will be hung up in the entrance of Heroes Academy. Something special for people to see when they walk in and for the heroes to admire, years down the road, when they are back visiting and sharing their heroes journey stories as adults.

Teamwork

On Thursday, launch was different. The guide asked them to follow her out to the school at the other end of the field. They were running along, demanding to know what was happening while smiling and laughing.

They were then challenged to a teamwork activity:

“I challenge you, as a team, to spell the word YOU, using your bodies on the ground. However, you CANNOT speak. I will set the time to three minutes, go!”

The heroes got to work. Using their eyes, their hands and loud grunting noises. Struggling to get other people to listen, falling on the floor into haphazard shapes and ultimately only being able to spell out the letter Y. It didn’t end there though! They were then challenged to spell the word, there. The timer was set and they took off. However, unsuccessful again. Not being able to speak was hard. They quickly realized how important verbal communication was and equally how important non verbal communication was.

The last challenge of launch was to gather into groups of three or four and use a prop the guide brought out, a ruler. They were asked to develop a short skit, somehow using the ruler. They were only given eight minutes to come up with the plot and script. This challenge went a little differently. Six out of seven teams successfully developed a short skit and then were asked to present it at collaboration later that day. The skits were funny, had a point and showed exactly what true teamwork looked like.

When they reflected on the idea of teamwork and what their strengths and weaknesses were, it was a resounding;

“I think we are good at leading, but we struggle with listening to one another and probably patience.”

Awareness is the first step in the right direction. Their awareness was truly, uncanny.

Solutions

Towards the end of Writer’s Workshop, they hit a problem. Two of the heroes came up to the guide, very worried and stressed. They worked so incredibly hard to fill a yearbook with thirty-six glorious pages, only to find out, the app they were using only printed book covers and small magazines, not entire books.

The sadness in their eyes was heartbreaking. What were they going to do? The guide challenged them to use specific wording when typing into google and to come back to her when they had made a plan. Within 20 minutes they had found a decently priced website and set forth to figure out how they were going to move their work from an app to a website. They quickly put their heads together, downloading PDF’s and updating their browsers to compile all of the documents. By the time studio maintenance hit, heroes were still working to fix the problem.

They never gave up and they never decided it was, too hard. They worked together, using their communication and leadership skills to surpass their big problem. They all agreed that in collaboration the next day, they had to get it uploaded to the new site and ordered so they would be here in time for next week.

Wrap-Up

Spring/Summer is a beautiful time in the studio. It is the season where all their growth over the past year comes together. Just in this session alone, their ability to be intentional and their ability to work through challenges improved immensely. You see them taking charge of their learning and they really started to have faith in themselves to overcome big challenges that came their way. They became less inclined to be afraid or nervous when faced with a problem and they go at it head first, equipped with confidence and problem solving skills. With one week left of the session, it will be exciting to watch them finish the year strong and see what challenges they will overcome on exhibition week.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world → http://heroesacademy.org