(Year 5, Week 2)
Every Monday the heroes sit down and write out their SMART goals.
The heroes were beyond excited to get rolling with journey tracker and to start setting their core skill goals. The work that they do in core skills directly reflects their ability to move up in the freedom levels. The freedom levels in the studio are marked as; Soaring, Flying, Nesting and Reset.
Soaring is where there is ultimate freedom. Freedom to create personal playlists, endless snack time and even their very own room where they can work together and study quietly. To be in Soaring, a hero also has to be up to date on their badge plan. So, if they are behind a year or so, they will automatically be placed in Flying. Flying is the next level. Flying there is a added freedom, comfy furniture and the ability to be in leadership roles, much like Soaring.
Nesting the heroes get to pick a desk to work at and are able to participate in snack break in the morning. There is less freedom at this level but it is a great level to be in if you need to work on getting more points. The last level is Reset. This is very simple. Maybe last week was a hard week, and instead of getting 300 points to be in soaring, they received less than 50. That’s okay! This gives them a chance to work in their own private space and work hard to meet their goals for next week.
The great thing about reset is that if a hero is place their two weeks in a row, parents will be notified and they can help their hero come up with a game plan to reach their goals. Each hero gets to choose their path and sometimes, a hero might just need a bit more time. That’s okay, we are all on different timelines and different Hero’s Journey’s.
Heroes were feeling the crunch of time with their performances. On Tuesday the heroes were locked down in trying to get their dances done and perfect their singing. We all know that group projects can be tricky but it has been exciting to see the heroes push through adversity.
During one of the performances, the heroes had a disagreement about dance moves. It was a subtle disagreement that most of the heroes didn’t notice. One hero quietly walked to the restroom with tears in his eyes. This hero is a quiet and calm soul in the studio. Usually loves to observe but this year something has changed. This hero has truly found their voice and has wanted to participate fully in all aspects of the lip dub. Even being filmed! Last year there was no way this hero would have been front and center.
To see him get his feelings hurt was tough. The guides first reaction was to run and save. Make the hero feel better. However, the guide sat back and waited. After the hero came out of the restroom he sauntered over to the guide. Sat down next to her. She asked,
“I am right here if you need to talk.”
“I’m good. Thanks though.”
After about ten minutes, the hero walked back to his group, got in position and finished the dance. It is amazing what can happen when people know they have support, and are empowered to fix their situations. Usually, we don’t need people to fix our hard situations, we just need people next to us.
Question of the Year
The question of the year has caused a lot of buzz,
“What does it mean to be on a hero’s journey?”
Over the past week the heroes have been asked continually to think about what it means to be on a hero’s journey. It is a question they will continue to pick apart and even reform over time. On Wednesday, they had a deep discussion about being on a hero’s journey. These are the new definitions that the squads have come up with:
“Being on a hero’s journey means doing things passionately and getting through the tough stuff.”
“The hero’s journey wouldn’t be real if there weren’t roads of trials. It just wouldn’t even be worth it.”
“The hero’s journey is all about finding a mentor and making sure you work towards excellence and world class. But it is okay if you fail.”
“Being on the journey means taking whatever comes and fighting through the tough stuff. Making sure you have friends along the way.”
“A hero’s journey is when you reach the end of your life and have friends and family around you. You are happy and had a good life.”
After the discussion the heroes moved into core skills. They were busy with their heads down when one hero noticed that a new hero was struggling. She could be seen walking over and putting a hand on her shoulder. She then said to her,
“Remember, being on a hero’s journey means you can ask for help when you need it.
The heroes embraced and it was a sweet moment of kindness and friendship.
The heroes embraced the badge book launch this week! They were all challenged to pick out a badge book by the end of the session. A badge book needs to be a book that is in their challenge zone. They shouldn’t panic while reading it but it needs to push them.
By the end of the launch the heroes had all gathered around the library trying to find books that work for them. They started signing up on the board and some were turned away, due to books being slightly too easy. The heroes should struggle with words, still be able to get through a page without terrible frustration and be able to give a general synopsis of what they just read.
After the heroes were challenged to find a new book, many came running back to sign up again. As the heroes broke into core skills a very silent wave overcame the studio for the next hour and a half. It is apparent that this group of heroes really values quiet reading time.
At the end of the day, one hero even finished her book! It was definitely in her challenge zone but she dedicated the entire day to reading it. At every turn you could find her nose deep in her book. At closing she was able to give her review and check off a challenge that will ultimately get her to her badge!
Hero’s choice is a time that is reserved for Friday afternoons. Heroes who are in Flying and Soaring get the opportunity to do Hero’s Choice. During this time they can play board games, work on core skills, finish quest, finish writer’s workshop, write stories or read. It is a time they can choose work or play and go at it with intention.
This week all of the heroes were introduced to it. They all got a taste of fun filled Hero’s Choice. This time was very different than times in the past. Usually it is pretty loud with heroes running from one thing to another. But this year, it looked different.
Heroes were incredibly intentional and focused. But even more incredible was what the heroes chose to work on. Almost every single hero chose to work on core skills to reach the freedom level of their choice for next week. Once they finished, then they moved into fun board games. It was so intentional the guide at one point asked,
“Well.. Do you guys want to go outside and play?”
They all looked up at her, kind of giggled then went back to their chosen core skill or board game. When we give people freedom of choice, it is truly incredible what they will choose.
The heroes had a productive week. It was the first week they set goals and worked in core skills. They faced adversity with their lip dub but every group came out on top, finishing! During the week the heroes got to pick out badge books and start working on their reading badges. A very exciting moment in the studio. They talked endlessly about the heroes journey and kept referring back to it throughout the week. They closed the week with the most intentional hero’s choice the guide has ever seen and closed the day with wonderful character call-outs!