Week 8 in Review: What are we capable of?

 

Week 8 of The Forest School is in the books!

 Learners (ie “Consultants”) from the Middle School Studio pictured above empathizing with leaders of  Pinewood Forest  (ie “Clients”) to understand their challenges and desires regarding the Pinewood Forest Spring Marketfest.

Learners (ie “Consultants”) from the Middle School Studio pictured above empathizing with leaders of Pinewood Forest (ie “Clients”) to understand their challenges and desires regarding the Pinewood Forest Spring Marketfest.

Elementary Studio Update:

The primary goal of a Guide is not to make children behave, but instead to equip heroes with an environment that allows them to learn to monitor their own behavior as they undertake their own hero’s journey. The ability to manage their own emotions and actions will serve our heroes well beyond their years at The Forest School.

Happier, healthier learners are able to master these concepts through intentional experiences at TFS:

  • Delayed gratification—Eg, beginning a Quest project with an exciting deadline more than 6 weeks away.

  • Empathy and social responsiveness—Examples include holding each other accountable to our contract and goals through Running Partner meetings; an empathy interview with our new “clients” from Pinewood Forest; and receiving and reflecting on feedback from our clients regarding how well we heard their specific needs and concerns.

  • The ability to calm oneself when experiencing strong emotions—Eg, when a fellow traveler or guide holds up a mirror when we’re not upholding our contract, Socratic rules of engagement or studio maintenance responsibilities.

  • Cause-effect thinking—Eg, if I choose to play games during Core Skills, what consequence will I face and is it worth the risk? What if I choose not to complete my badges in a timely manner?

We’ve woven the critical concept of self-control through almost every facet of our day at The Forest School. When a hero feels safe enough to fail and has a voice in the anticipatory consequences, s/he is equipped to succeed not just in academics but character as well.


Middle School Studio Update:

What am I capable of?

That's a question always on a hero's mind. Are they up to the challenge? Is the treasure worth it? What help might they need along the way? What happens if they fail?

Session 1 is over. The Call to Adventure, for now, is behind us. The next steps are some of the most important in the Hero's Journey. The novelty fades. The challenge increases. We begin to to question ourselves and our Fellow Travelers. So, moving forward, what is our Middle School Studio capable of?

Here's what they've showcased so far this week:

  • One of our Heroes led a launch, unprompted, on the Kavanaugh confirmation process.

  • Heroes led a Town Hall meeting (without an adult present) to decide on consequences for breaking our contract and class agreements, especially related to tech agreements.

  • Heroes have upped their commitments by setting more challenging goals, increasing their accountability to the Studio, and by raising cleanliness standards for community maintenance.

So, what are we capable of?

We'll return to this question again and again, but, for now, our Heroes are living into the reality that they are capable of more than most people could imagine.


banner image via

 
Tyler Thigpen