Hello Aim Academy Families,
4 weeks in and we are rolling! The Eagles are focused. Focused on maximizing their Core Skills time. Focused on designing an excellent game. And focused on having fun. There was a different energy in the studio this week. For the first time this session— not one person posted an item to the Town Hall topics board saying that Core Skills time was too loud. Badges were earned. Eagle Bucks were flying off the shelves. Determination was in the air.
The Aim Academy Attribute that we have focused on this session is responsibility. In many areas of studio life— individual responsibility is the foundation for which success can follow. Badges, Stickers, Freedom Levels, Eagle Bucks— these are all systems that fall under the banner of individual responsibility. The amount of effort an Eagle puts in directly affects whether they achieve their desired outcome— to reach “Soaring” and have 6 elective periods throughout the week, earn enough Eagle Bucks to purchase the Harry Potter Chess Set or complete the Math Badge to keep in their treasure chest forever.
Yet— Aim Academy is not simply a group of individuals, it is a community. More so, it is a community built upon service. Over the past 4 months, the Aim Academy Eagles have created and maintained their own civil society. They designed, tested out, produced and signed a contract that represented their shared values. They voted to create several different leadership positions and committees. They have voted fellow travelers into these positions with the belief that they would be a good fit. And they have also recalled some when they have struggled to uphold the Standards of Excellence.
Each Session, every Eagle has a different leadership position, giving them a chance to develop different leadership muscles and explore different potential future callings in life. Are you most effective in keeping everyone on track throughout the day? (Time Keeper). How about holding your fellow travelers’ accountable to an excellent standard? (Excellence Committee). Could it be in setting up how the studio looks? (Posters Committee). Or what about making sure the studio has the proper resources to function? (Supplies Committee). Would you best serve as an ally and helper to your peers? (Spark Hero/House Hero). Or to help resolve issues between community members? (Disputes Committee).
Each of these positions carries a completely different set of responsibilities, and through trial and error— the Eagles can begin to understand what types of responsibility puts them in their comfort zone, challenge zone and panic zone. These responsibilities are not all pomp and circumstance, they are substantive. They require tough decision making, objective thinking and problem solving.
This past week, the Disputes Committee of Salomon, Abi and Neva have been put to the test. They have held several meetings, many of which were not black and white. In attempting to resolve these issues, they have asked hard questions and brought up uncomfortable truths. They have struggled in navigating the “grey area.” Yet, they always circle back to— "did this person break a promise on the contract" rather than "whose side I should be on." Although they can reach different conclusions on the same issue, the Disputes Committee is bound together in their commitment to be unbiased, hear both sides and hold meetings as soon as possible. They are heroes who serve their community proudly.
The Excellence Committee of Logan and Hailey have been diligent in safeguarding the studio’s Standards of Excellence. For the past 4 weeks, every day at the end of Core Skills, they randomly select two Eagles for an audit. They kindly walk them through the process of the audit— asking them how they earned each sticker and whether they reached their Daily Khan Goal. If the Eagle did not reach them, they ask why and what they plan to do differently the next day. In holding their fellow travelers accountable, they both have demonstrated courage and grace. Courage in discussing inconsistencies and areas of improvement with fellow travelers. Grace in acknowledging each Eagle’s effort and giving encouragement.
In a traditional school, the teacher holds nearly every single one of these responsibilities. At Aim Academy, we feel like it is our duty as Guides to pass on as much responsibility to the Eagles as possible— so that they may grapple with responsibility and accountability in a real way. Experience is the best teacher. All too often, young people are more than capable to lead but not given the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.
2 weeks to go; a lifetime journey of learning ahead. We hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Mr. Lance and Mr. Daniel