Week 15 in Review: How do Heroes manage a full plate?


Thanks to all who joined us at this morning's parent coffee about the design of our high school, called Launchpad.

We’re grateful to our level 9 learner Josiah (pictured below) for facilitating the focus group.

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Elementary Update:

At school we often say, “We cultivate what we celebrate”. This week the Guides set out with the intention of just that—Who and what should we intentionally celebrate in order to cultivate an environment of excellence and community?

As our learners have been reaching individual victories this week, we’ve been "going bananas" for them and with them. Monday brought the first learner to complete a badge in the Elementary Studio, and we stopped the Studio to publicly acknowledge her accomplishment. We cheered as a family and created a “Hot Shots” board to keep a running list of hero efforts. By Tuesday, seven heroes completed their grade level in Lexia and another hero completed a badge. (Cue the cheers and high fives in the Elementary Studio!) In one week of intentionally cultivating what we celebrate, not only have the heroes reached independent milestones not yet seen before, they’ve handed out encouragement and acclamation to each other in spades.

As we work through the last two weeks of 2018 at The Forest School, we will continue to pursue excellence through celebration. But, we will also continue to celebrate generosity, kindness, empathy, and perseverance. The “Hot Shots” board is for so much more than academic victories. It is one more way that we celebrate young heroes growing into capable, gracious, and thoughtful young people who are ready to change the world.

Middle School Update:

This session is fairly short—Four weeks from beginning to end. As we approach the halfway point, Heroes are starting to feel the "pinch" of time more and more. On a wall in our Studio, they've posted their goals for the session—a certain percentage of Khan Academy, a completed Deep Book Badge, a milestone on their Grammar Badge. These "self-paced" goals are held in tension with our session badges—Quest, Storytelling, and Civilization.

How do Heroes manage such a full plate?

First, they trust their systems and routines—setting SMART goals daily with their Running Squads, organizing their work in Journey Tracker, and looking at their Badge Plan to anticipate what challenges are coming next.

Second, they make a hundred small decisions everyday—decisions about time, focus, environment, and effort. Using "time" wisely isn't an easy decision, and it doesn't come naturally. It's a long game. It's a habit forged daily, by making those small choices—What will you do with your time, right here and right now?

Here in the Middle School Studio, we're dedicated to forging strong character. Eventually, through repetition and experience, Heroes will be a bit more used to managing their time and workload. Until then, there will be a bit of pain as those habits form callouses. How is culture made—specifically a culture that honors hard work and wise time management?

Slowly and deliberately.

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen