But first, a congratulatory shout out to the nine Eagles who earned their Independent Learner Badges over the past month. We celebrated them in a special school-wide ceremony Friday morning. There are only 7 pictured below because two were pursuing dreams off-campus that day; Eagles lead busy lives!
Though there will never be homework assigned at Acton, completing the missions and challenges to earn the Badge involved making time at home for things like baking bread and doing research to pitch a trip, garden or new pet to their family. These Eagles have proven their ability to work independently, analyze information, solve problems by themselves, and follow instructions carefully.
These nine now join seven other Middle School Eagles (and one in the ES!) in working towards earning the next badge in the series, the Running Partner Badge. They will learn how to help others set goals and identify and reach for their greatest dreams; they will learn how to have difficult conversations, how to set a relational covenant, and much more. Some of this work will be done while guiding younger Eagles in the elementary school, an exciting development for our student-centric community. The Badges are a crucial part of the work Eagles do at Acton. If you haven’t, consider asking your child which badge challenge they’re currently working on, which has been their favorite, which has been the hardest. The standard for “passing” each challenge is that the Eagle certifies they’ve done their very best work.
Okay, so about that question mentioned in the title. In the middle school you’ll hear, “Guides don’t answer questions,” sometimes many times each day. A bit sassy perhaps, but never meant to be discouraging or indifferent. The polar opposite, in fact: it’s a gesture of deep respect. In the studio on Friday, Eagles discussed the role of Guides. One offered that the most important thing a Guide can do is “to set up guidelines then sit back and let the classroom function on its own”. Another wrote that Guides should “ready us so we can turn the classroom into a student-run studio”. Many thought that for Guides to keep their promises to the Acton students and parents was the most important thing.
One promise we make to the families is that we believe each child is a genius capable of changing the world in their won unique way. But answering a question says that we don’t trust them to be able to come up with their own best answer, to engage in the potent thinking, research and analysis we believe each of them are capable of, or to learn from their mistakes.
Eagles, the number one reason WHY Guides won’t answer your question is…. drum roll, please…. we absolutely positively 100 percent completely respect your intelligence.
( Okay Gage, you got me. I answered that one. But never again!)