Week 26 in Review: How do you find a calling to change the world?


divided into Houses

changing the world

Elementary Update

The Elementary Studio has put several methods of learner accountability into place this year. We began with our Contract of Promises, created, written, and signed by the heroes of the studio. As a living document, it was even ratified by the suggestion of a new hero last session.


As a tribute to Harry Potter, as well as their enthusiasm for extra incentive, the heroes voted to incorporate “houses” into the studio. Eager learners were “sorted” into their houses, created mascots and even decorated their tables in their chosen house colors. House points can be awarded to a group or individual; the threat of losing a house point keeps most heroes motivated to uphold their contract.

The house with the most points won ice cream sundaes at the end of last session!

But, outside of a house point, has any hero experienced a natural consequence of breaking the contract? The studio decided unanimously that there was not. That realization led to our most current layer of studio government—our first council. Comprised of three heroes, each representing a different level, the council is in place as a system of checks and balances. As always, the power lies amongst the people. All heroes have the right to hand out a warning to a Fellow Traveler that they feel is not upholding our contract or standard of excellence. And, every hero has the opportunity to appeal a warning before the council, should they feel wrongly accused. Council members were voted in by their peers and will represent their studio for the length of a session.


Congratulations to our first ES Council Members: Lucy, Georgia, and Brighton! Remember these wise words from author Anthony D’Angelo: “Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”

Middle School Update

How do you find a calling to change the world?

Well, for starters, it helps to go out into the world beyond the schoolhouse and try different "callings" on for size.

Next week, heroes will begin their first ever apprenticeships. Some of them will spend the full week at a media company, IT department, or aqua farm. Others will spend a few hours at a couple of different opportunities, building their experience and resumes along the way.

We believe whole-heartedly in learning by doing. By the time they graduate high school, our current middle school Heroes will have hundreds of hours of real world work experience to their names. More than that, they will have greater clarity about who they are and what they want to do in the world. That's how calling is cultivated.


Banner image via

Tyler Thigpen