We Choose to go to the Moon (Year 3, Week 3)

On September 12th 1962, John F Kennedy announced his world-changing goal to put American astronauts on the moon by December 31st, 1969.

Was President Kennedy’s goal SMART?

The world changed when astronauts landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969, winning what came to be known as the “Space Race.”

After a discussion about Kennedy and goal setting, the heroes were challenged Monday morning to look farther into the future as they set their goals this week. They were challenged to set a SMART goal not just for the day, but for the week.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely and tough

Heroes who worked towards their goal and tracked it daily were awarded with a Friday party.

Every morning after the launch discussion, the heroes spend time working at their own pace on the core skills of reading, writing, and math.

With many processes, tools, a lot of inspiring launches, and some luck, core skills has become a core part of the day at Heroes Academy, and a very sacred time to the heroes. The heroes have created a culture where working hard is important, and being part of the tribe means being responsible and putting in your best work. The more effort they put into core skills (and the more points they earn), the more freedom they earn in the studio including using special furniture, listening to personal playlists, and taking extra snack breaks.

The guides often find this to be a very inspiring part of the day.

While most of the heroes have a strong understanding of the choices they are making and the long term outcomes of those choices, a few new heroes are beginning to have impactful learning experiences. Some are beginning to experience the benefit of working hard and earning freedom, while others are soon to discover the pain of not putting in effort and losing freedom. Monday morning will change up the studio with each hero in the freedom level they earned this last week, and a few heroes will have powerful learning experiences as a result. What wasn’t quite as important this week will suddenly become far more significant.

While many new and important studio systems were added last week to create a more intentional, world class studio, one core process struggled to reach excellence. By the beginning of the week the studio was overflowing with trash, personal items were left out, and quest materials were scattered about.

Council decided that studio maintenance was a top priority, and wanted to adopt a new game called the studio maintenance game.

In essence, each squad would be a team. The team that had the most pristine areas after studio maintenance would earn a ticket. The winning team would get to choose their job the following week and earn a bonus hero buck.

Wednesday morning, after watching a video about Denise, and discussing what part of her home was the most disgusting, the heroes unanimously decided to implement the new studio maintenance game as a commitment to their studio contract promise to treat the studio like a sacred place. They also voted on a studio maintenance leader to judge the work of each squad. After electing Jack, they spent 30 minutes deep cleaning and bringing the studio to an excellent standard. Jack then awarded the first ticket to TEM team (Adri, Koby, Tanner, Paxton, and Betsy), whose areas were deemed excellent.

After a few days of the studio maintenance game, TEM team (Adri, Koby, Tanner, Paxton, and Betsy), The Stars (Jack, Clara, Olivia, and Lily), and Game Time (Aiden, Tyson, Garrett, and Zane) had each earned two tickets. This unexpected 3 way tie happened with only seconds of the day left, which forced the heroes to push the final decision to Monday as they figure out the best way to solve this unlikely predicament.

Jack was given a special character callout on Friday from a fellow traveler who noticed the high standard he kept and how fairly he awarded tickets, even though he was part of a competing squad.

As this session’s quest continues, the heroes are continuing to be equipped with new tools that will help them have a more successful year.

This week they spent time learning about decision chains, trial and error experiments, and other challenges they chose to take on.

On Friday, the heroes spent time creating squad contracts that would serve to help each other as they made progress on their individual learning journeys.

After creating their contracts, they had fun designing squad T-shirts. While gloves and bags were used to protect clothes, a few heroes headed home with tie dye on more than just their new shirts. Sorry parents!

Every community has challenges. What’s different about Heroes Academy is we face those challenges. When two heroes engaged in a conflict Friday afternoon, it didn’t just get ignored. They stepped into a room and calmly followed a process to solve the conflict. When those doors open there aren’t always big happy smiles, but this time there were. Big happy smiles and the feeling of peace that comes from putting a problem to rest.

A hero’s journey isn’t an easy journey, but make no mistake, it’s a meaningful and rewarding one.

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