Hello Spark Parents!
At Aim Academy, we encourage the Eagles to embrace change as a natural and necessary part of their learning journey. Change can take many forms, such as overcoming a difficult challenge, trying something new, or adjusting their perspective on a particular subject. We believe that these changes are opportunities for students to develop their skills, deepen their understanding, and grow as individuals. The following are the changes the Spark studio has been going through.
The Difficult Challenge: Striving to become a Level 5 Tribe
It is a term that was coined by the author and researcher, Daniel Coyle, in his book "The Culture Code," which explores the dynamics of successful groups and organizations. Within the Acton model, a Level 5 Tribe is a community where individuals feel a strong sense of belonging, trust, and mutual support. It is a place where everyone is working together towards a shared purpose or goal, and where the success of each individual is linked to the success of the group as a whole.
We had a Spark launch on what they felt were the most critical attributes a leader should have in a Level 5 Tribe. After discussing a list of options and their meanings, they chose influence, integrity, and empathy as the most important. I have seen each of them use these attributes as they have tried to overcome the difficult challenge of becoming a Level 5 tribe. The amount of influence and compassion I've seen in these young minds this year will indeed change the world one day.
Trying Something New: FLOW ZONE
As you know, we've been experimenting with new ways to hold each other accountable. Instead of coins or disputes committees, we are learning how to hold the line with more kindness and love. We have renamed core skills time, Flow Zone. The challenge is to stay in flow and follow the contract promises during work time. Flow is a state of deep concentration and engagement, where they are fully immersed in their tasks and experience a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
I've been blown away by the goals they are setting and achieving with their newly assigned flow buddies. When someone isn’t following a contract promise during Flow Zone, they hold one another accountable by giving out a "flow busted" card to remind them of what they should be doing instead. Once the reminder is given, that Spark has to take their work into a quiet place for 15 minutes to get back into flow. Right now, if they get 5 flow busted cards in a week, they can’t go to fun Friday and must stay in Flow Zone instead. So far they have crushed this challenge, and there is no doubt the Spark studio will finish out this year stronger than before!
Adjusting Their Perspective on a Particular Subject: The Story Snake
Sometimes a mistake or scary situation can occur that will send our minds reeling into a panic zone. We make up an untrue story in our head (story snake), and often hyper focus on it, to the point where we might create unnecessary anxiety or stress for ourselves because it feels so real. For example, we watched a video during launch about a cartoon character named Mojo, who accidentally knocked over the snack table at an event with his friends. Mojo created a snake story in his head and thought that all of his friends wouldn't like him anymore for ruining the snacks. He got so worked up over something that wasn't true and hadn't happened. How did Mojo cope with it and defeat his story snake?
Well, the Sparks had an experience today of how to handle it with one of their fellow travelers. A Spark was afraid of the wind at the park, and they had a big story snake that kept telling them the wind was going to blow in a big rainstorm that we would be caught in. Instead of making fun of or ignoring their fellow traveler for worrying about something that might seem silly to them, they changed their perspective. The Sparks immediately jumped into action trying to comfort this Spark and calm them down. They had them think about things they like, reminded them to be brave and defeat this story snake, and tried to distract them by making them laugh. They all took a turn being by their fellow travelers' side as we walked back to the school, and suddenly the story snake disappeared.
Hopefully I've given you a glimpse into the importance of change on your child's Hero's Journey at Aim Academy. As you know, the Hero's Journey is a powerful metaphor that we use to describe the learning journey that each of the Eagles will take. This journey is filled with challenges, triumphs, and changes that are essential to your child's growth and development.