Heroes on a Hero's Journey.
We often call them Dragon-riders (aka, Dragonauts).
In other Actons, they are called Eagles (or Lions, or even Rebels).
Martina is reading "The Child Is The Teacher: The Life of Maria Montessori" because while her name is widely known, what a lot of people don't realize is that what is called Montessori education today, is VERY different from what Maria Montessori intended.
And in that book, Maria calls her young learners... "Warriors".
I share that because Martina and I were discussing it this week, and we both felt that description fits. The word "hero" feels distant and sometimes even unattainable. Like someone else can be a hero, but what about you or me?
A Warrior however... everyone you meet is fighting their own good fight, and walking their own Hero's Journey. Choosing to do hard things, intentionally... makes one a Warrior. And little by little, our small studio is growing its own warriors.
For example, in the past couple of months we've heard things like "I don't know how to read" or "That math is too hard." But little by little, that Warrior spirit is becoming stronger in our learners. This week the group collectively went over 80 books read on Epic (over 14 total hours just in the past couple of weeks).
Learners Becoming Warriors (Each In Their Own Way)
For one young learner, it might mean practicing to write their name consistently each day. We use "manipulatives" so learners can physically put together the letters. By seeing and feeling them first, they are then able to do the fine-motor skills of holding a writing instrument that will convey two of the most powerful words any of us can hear in life. Our names!
In other examples, we had several Warriors tackling (without giving up) what felt like to them... impossible math. Do you remember those days, when math with double digit and "crooked" numbers felt like it would freeze you in your tracks?
Ask your Warrior... what they did they do this week that was hard, but they kept going anyways?
This week our Tribe also focused on learning to take over key roles in the Studio. One example might be how Marlee took full ownership of the Time Keeper role, so much so that the Guides never had to say a word when transitioning between segments of the day.
Another example was the introduction of Town Hall Meetings for our little Studio. Town Hall Meetings are where every Warrior can express themselves and what they are seeing in the growth of the Tribe. Town Halls can be called for when there is issue in the Studio that needs to be resolved. Or it can be a regular meeting. This week, two Warriors (Divya and Marlee) will step up to take over responsibility to run the Town Hall Meeting next week.
Part of this week's discussion was the Studio owning the fact that they did not reach their collective goal for the week, and did not earn their intended reward. So they hit reset for the coming week. The faster we fail and learn from it, the faster we pedal the wheel of our learning cycles.
Those moments of self-reflection are important, especially when combined with earning praise and recognition from your peers for doing things like persevering when math got hard.
Young Artists Exhibition Just A Couple Of Weeks Away
The Tribe continues to prepare for the Art Exhibition at Plunge in Mid-May. This week our in-person day Studio was buzzing as the Warriors painted, shared, and critiqued each others work. They learned to give "Warm-Cold-Warm" feedback to one another in a way that would help each young artist feel both good about their work AND, see where they could make improvements.
And lastly, we have a couple of resources to share with our parents.
Here is another printable you can add to your fridge - to give ideas about how to change the conversation in a more postive way.
And we've got another video from Matt and his series about what it means to be a Learner-Driven school. I am contstantly amazed at the quality and the ability of the Acton-network as they raise the bar of what it means to be learner-driven. I cannot imagine making this same Hero's Journey without the conversations and resources that are provided.