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Eagles Handle the Rest

Last Thursday was the first time that I (Ms. Jana the Elementary Studio guide) needed a substitute. I would be gone for 2.5 hours and it was the perfect time to challenge the Eagles to be 100% independent for the entire 2.5 hours. This would mean the tribe of learners would guide each other to stay safe, on time, within the boundaries of their “Rules of Engagement (ROE’s),” and work hard without an adult guiding them in any way. 

Our 9 Eagles currently range from ages 7 - 11 and work together in a one-room-schoolhouse setting. They have established ROE’s for most of their gatherings and activities throughout the day and hold each other accountable. On Wednesday I shared that I would be gone Thursday from 9 - 11:30 and asked, “Do you think there needs to be an adult here while I am gone?” 

They were silent for a moment until one Eagle raised his hand and said, “Not really.” 
Then a few more hands went up, they shared, discussed, and asked each other questions like, “What if there was an emergency?” “What if we get locked out?” “How would we do core, if the wifi goes down again?” They were able to conclude that they really don’t need an adult present Thursday morning, but for serious emergency situations. 

The Eagles were confident they would run the morning just fine without a guide. I asked, “What should I tell Ms. Amy to prepare her?” One of our older Eagles said, “Just tell her she can sit back, relax, and enjoy a book, we will do the rest.”

That’s exactly what I did. She later sent me a photo of their morning launch. It was a scene that made me swell with pride. One Eagle leading the Socratic discussion for the morning, before launching into their core skills time for the day. 

Once I arrived back on campus, the studio was practically silent as they worked diligently on their core skills. They later proclaimed they were, “98% independent” for the morning as Ms. Amy was relaxing at a table. 

Our goal is 100% independence for 100% of the day! We are about 70% there!

Hi, I'm Jana Pappas. 👋

I'm Head of School at Acton Academy Concord

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