Making Heroic Choices

Choices are a vital part of the studio environment. Each day, the heroes make choices like:
- What am I going to work on during core skills?
- How will I follow the studio contract promises I agreed to?
- How will I hold other’s accountable when they are not following their promises?

Recently the guides have noticed threats are often used rather than choices when a hero is breaking their Studio Contract promises.

“Be quiet or I’m asking you for a hero buck!”

Monday morning, the guides listed the ways they have seen heroes hold each other accountable:
- Offering clear choices
- Threatening
- Asking without a warning
- Doing nothing

After a discussion, the heroes agreed that offering clear choices was the best way to hold others accountable while being both warm-hearted and tough-minded. Tuesday morning the heroes agreed on a process for offering choices and practiced the process during the launch; role-playing common challenges they run into each day in the studio.

A few minutes after the launch, Kai was heard saying:
“I noticed you guys are talking and working together during flow phase. I am going to offer you two choices. You can go to your desk and work quietly or you can keep talking and I’ll ask you for a hero buck.”

Being a great leader is often about offering powerful choices and respecting others enough to let them choose. As a result, accountability in the studio has become increasingly warm-hearted.


The heroes began their first self-organized week of Growing Curiosity with the Wildlife quest pitched by Betsy. Her team decided to start their week of quest by asking the question: “What is the weirdest animal, why is the weirdest?”

The heroes spent 20 minutes researching and collaborating before coming back for a discussion:

  • We think it’s the Blobfish. It’s been nominated the ugliest animal in the world for years.
  • We found the Peacock spider. 5 millimeters is the biggest it gets. About the same as a grain of rice. It’s got a really colorful thing on its head and they dance and if the female doesn’t like the dance they will attack him.
  • Ours is the Aye-Aye monkey. They look weird and kind of cute. They eat meat and plant-based foods and they stink.

During her Wednesday launch Betsy asked: Why are animals important?

  • “I think they are important because they do a lot of things for plants and stuff. We wouldn’t have a lot of food like honey without animals.”
  • “Animals are important because they are part of the ecosystem, without them it would fall apart and we wouldn’t have as much to eat.”
  • “If we didn’t have animals like cows we wouldn’t have food other than grass and roots.”
  • “Some of us enjoy keeping them as pets.”
  • “They cheer you up when you are sad.”

To complete their quest challenges this week, heroes chose an animal they wanted to know more about, researched the animal and created a poster about the animal of their choice.

Process Drama

Olivia and Betsy presented days 3 and 4 this week. They explored what makes audiences interested in a storyline by asking the heroes to list their favorite stories and talk about why they like them. They said their favorite stories are:
- Unique
- The main character changed a lot at the end
- Funny
- Detailed
- Teach you an important lesson

The heroes are wrote scripts and practiced their first round of skits this week. They will be performing their skits next Tuesday for a studio guest who will critique their performances.

Creative Writing

On Monday, the guides introduced a creative writing challenge. In this challenge, the heroes had a chance to earn money for their end of year party. When the heroes wrote stories during core skills, each type word was worth 1 cent and each hand-written word was worth 2 cents. By the end of the week, the heroes earned $105.87 for their party!

Wrapping Up

As the second week of the session comes to a close, the studio is focused on making choices on the journey toward discovering and exploring passions. To close out the week, Betsy asked the heroes for feedback on her challenges and launches during Daily Debrief. Daily Debrief only takes up 10 minutes of the day; but acted as a powerful example of the studio mindset. Betsy chose to make herself vulnerable to the other heroes in the studio by asking for feedback and they gave thoughtful responses that were both warm-hearted and tough-minded. Next week, the heroes will continue their exploration with the Speed and Velocity quest.



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Heroes Academy

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