Guides, Mentors, Allies, and Friends

(Year 5, Week 9)

Don’t be sad because its over, be happy because it happened” — Dr. Seuss

“What will you miss most about Megan?”

This week kicked off with a discussion about guides and mentors, how their impact is measured, and if Dr. Suess was right or not.

On a hero’s journey, a hero will have many guides, mentors, allies, and friends that accompany them. Some will be part of the journey for only short sprints, while others will be with part of the journey possibly a hero’s entire life. At Heroes Academy, guides and fellow travelers will also come and go. While challenging, it’s often seems to sprouts seeds of strength and resilience.

After a few tears, the heroes were given the opportunity to write a letters of gratitude.

This week the heroes finished challenges in blueprints and elevations, and began working on their 3D models. Many are in stride, adding colors, windows, doors, and landscaping. Others have started, then restarted, then restarted again.

The energy was high during Quest this week, and slowly but surely the 3d models are coming to life.

After some open discussion, the heroes felt that several systems weren’t truly designed wholeheartedly by the heroes. Specifically, they felt the studio contract, hero buck system, studio maintenance, and studio guardrail systems could all use improvement. After some discussion, they decided a few committees would form and pitch updates and improvements. They seem to be excited about some ideas that would create a more warm-hearted and tough-minded studio.

A few heroes took on some improvements including chromebook management without any solicitation. They labelled all the chromebooks and the cubbies they go in. This solves a problem of people mixed up slots and computers many have been frustrated with.

This week the heroes spent time discussing core skills badges, programs, and options.

As a result, some minor tweaks to the schedule were made, and some badge improvements are underway. The heroes will continue to offer feedback on learning design to ensure it serves the heroes meaningfully now, and keep Heroes Academy’s promises to parents.

The heroes continued this week’s writer’s workshop by organizing their binders and publishing their technical instructions. They discussed standards of excellence that will be used to determine if their work is ready for exhibition. Many are excited to share their work in next week’s exhibition.

During writer’s workshop, younger heroes can choose to tackle the writer’s workshop, or do writing packets.

Reading buddies continues to be a cherished time for both Spark and Discovery heroes, and a great example of mixed age learning. The heroes have landed on a process where the Spark hero reads to the Discovery hero, then they switch. It’s really a magical time.

This week the studio ran a little leaner, with more trust placed on the learners. It figuratively marks a step towards a more learner driven community. While the studio has always been a studio with ownership by the heroes, many commented this week that the studio is moving in a direction where they feel even more responsibility for their learning and their community. As a school whose mission is to inspire each child to find a calling and change the world, that’s exactly the direction we want to go.

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